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The Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
legislation describes four provisions of the U.S.A Banking Act of 1933
Banking Act of 1933
separating commercial and investment banking.[1] The article 1933 Banking Act
1933 Banking Act
describes the entire law, including the legislative history of the provisions covered here. (The common name comes from the names of the Congressional sponsors, Senator Carter Glass
Carter Glass
and Representative Henry B. Steagall.[2] A separate 1932 law described in the article Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act of 1932 had the same sponsors, and is also referred to as the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act.) The separation of commercial and investment banking prevented securities firms and investment banks from taking deposits, and commercial Federal Reserve member banks from:

dealing in non-governmental securities for customers, investing in non-investment grade securities for themselves, underwriting or distributing non-governmental securities, affiliating (or sharing employees) with companies involved in such activities.

Starting in the early 1960s, federal banking regulators' interpretations of the Act permitted commercial banks, and especially commercial bank affiliates, to engage in an expanding list and volume of securities activities.[3] Congressional efforts to "repeal the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act", referring to those four provisions (and then usually to only the two provisions that restricted affiliations between commercial banks and securities firms),[4] culminated in the 1999 Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act
Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act
(GLBA), which repealed the two provisions restricting affiliations between banks and securities firms.[5] By that time, many commentators argued Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
was already "dead".[6] Most notably, Citibank's 1998 affiliation with Salomon Smith Barney, one of the largest US securities firms, was permitted under the Federal Reserve Board's then existing interpretation of the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act.[7] In November 1999, President Bill Clinton publicly declared "the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
law is no longer appropriate".[8][9] Some commentators have stated that the GLBA's repeal of the affiliation restrictions of the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act was an important cause of the financial crisis of 2007–2008. Economics Nobel prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz, for instance, argued that "[w]hen repeal of Glass-Steagall brought investment and commercial banks together, the investment-bank culture came out on top" [10][11] Economists at the Federal Reserve, such as Chairman of the Fed Ben Bernanke, have argued that the activities linked to the financial crisis were not prohibited (or, in most cases, even regulated) by the Glass–Steagall Act.[12][13][14]

Contents

1 Sponsors 2 Legislative history 3 Separating commercial and investment banking 4 Decline and repeal 5 Aftermath of repeal 6 Post-financial crisis reform debate 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Sponsors[edit]

Sen. Carter Glass
Carter Glass
(D–Va.) and Rep. Henry B. Steagall
Henry B. Steagall
(D–Ala.-3), the co-sponsors of the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act.

The sponsors of both the Banking Act of 1933
Banking Act of 1933
and the Glass–Steagall Act of 1932 were southern Democrats: Senator Carter Glass
Carter Glass
of Virginia (who in 1932 had been in the House, Secretary of the Treasury, or in the Senate, for the preceding 30 years), and Representative Henry B. Steagall of Alabama (who had been in the House for the preceding 17 years). Legislative history[edit] Main article: 1933 Banking Act Between 1930 and 1932 Senator Carter Glass
Carter Glass
(D-VA) introduced several versions of a bill (known in each version as the Glass bill) to regulate or prohibit the combination of commercial and investment banking and to establish other reforms (except deposit insurance) similar to the final provisions of the 1933 Banking Act.[15] On June 16, 1933, President Roosevelt signed the bill into law. Glass originally introduced his banking reform bill in January 1932. It received extensive critiques and comments from bankers, economists, and the Federal Reserve Board. It passed the Senate in February 1932, but the House adjourned before coming to a decision. The Senate passed a version of the Glass bill that would have required commercial banks to eliminate their securities affiliates.[16] The final Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
provisions contained in the 1933 Banking Act reduced from five years to one year the period in which commercial banks were required to eliminate such affiliations.[17] Although the deposit insurance provisions of the 1933 Banking Act
1933 Banking Act
were very controversial, and drew veto threats from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President Roosevelt supported the Glass–Steagall provisions separating commercial and investment banking, and Representative Steagall included those provisions in his House bill that differed from Senator Glass's Senate bill primarily in its deposit insurance provisions.[18] Steagall insisted on protecting small banks while Glass felt that small banks were the weakness to U.S. banking. Many accounts of the Act identify the Pecora Investigation as important in leading to the Act, particularly its Glass–Steagall provisions, becoming law.[19] While supporters of the Glass–Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking cite the Pecora Investigation as supporting that separation,[20] Glass–Steagall critics have argued that the evidence from the Pecora Investigation did not support the separation of commercial and investment banking.[21] This source states that Senator Glass proposed many versions of his bill to Congress known as the Glass Bills in the two years prior to the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act being passed. It also includes how the deposit insurance provisions of the bill were very controversial at the time, which almost led to the rejection of the bill once again. The previous Glass Bills before the final revision all had similar goals and brought up the same objectives which were to separate commercial from investment banking, bring more banking activities under Federal Reserve supervision and to allow branch banking. In May 1933 Steagall's addition of allowing state chartered banks to receive federal deposit insurance and shortening the time in which banks needed to eliminate securities affiliates to one year was known as the driving force of what helped the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
act to be signed into law. Separating commercial and investment banking[edit] Main article: Glass–Steagall: legislation, limits and loopholes The Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
separation of commercial and investment banking was in four sections of the 1933 Banking Act
1933 Banking Act
(sections 16, 20, 21, and 32).[1] The Banking Act of 1935
Banking Act of 1935
clarified the 1933 legislation and resolved inconsistencies in it. Together, they prevented commercial Federal Reserve member banks from:

dealing in non-governmental securities for customers investing in non-investment grade securities for themselves underwriting or distributing non-governmental securities affiliating (or sharing employees) with companies involved in such activities

Conversely, Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
prevented securities firms and investment banks from taking deposits. The law gave banks one year after the law was passed on June 16, 1933 to decide whether they would be a commercial bank or an investment bank. Only 10 percent of a commercial bank's income could stem from securities. One exception to this rule was that commercial banks could underwrite government-issued bonds. There were several "loopholes" that regulators and financial firms were able to exploit during the lifetime of Glass–Steagall restrictions. Aside from the Section 21 prohibition on securities firms taking deposits, neither savings and loans nor state-chartered banks that did not belong to the Federal Reserve System were restricted by Glass–Steagall. Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
also did not prevent securities firms from owning such institutions. S&Ls and securities firms took advantage of these loopholes starting in the 1960s to create products and affiliated companies that chipped away at commercial banks' deposit and lending businesses. While permitting affiliations between securities firms and companies other than Federal Reserve member banks, Glass–Steagall distinguished between what a Federal Reserve member bank could do directly and what an affiliate could do. Whereas a Federal Reserve member bank could not buy, sell, underwrite, or deal in any security except as specifically permitted by Section 16, such a bank could affiliate with a company so long as that company was not "engaged principally" in such activities. Starting in 1987, the Federal Reserve Board interpreted this to mean a member bank could affiliate with a securities firm so long as that firm was not "engaged principally" in securities activities prohibited for a bank by Section 16. By the time the GLBA repealed the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
affiliation restrictions, the Federal Reserve Board
Federal Reserve Board
had interpreted this "loophole" in those restrictions to mean a banking company (Citigroup, as owner of Citibank) could acquire one of the world's largest securities firms (Salomon Smith Barney). By defining commercial banks as banks that take in deposits and make loans and investment banks as banks that underwrite and deal with securities the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
act explained the separation of banks by stating that commercial banks could not deal with securities and investment banks could not own commercial banks or have close connections with them. With the exception of commercial banks being allowed to underwrite government-issued bonds, commercial banks could only have ten percent of their income come from securities. The Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Legislation page specifies that only Federal Reserve member banks were affected by the provisions which according to secondary sources the act "applied direct prohibitions to the activities of certain commercial banks". Decline and repeal[edit] Main article: Decline of the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act It was not until 1933 that the separation of commercial banking and investment banking was considered controversial. There was a belief that the separation would lead to a healthier financial system.[22] As time passed, however, the separation became so controversial that in 1935, Senator Glass himself attempted to "repeal" the prohibition on direct bank underwriting by permitting a limited amount of bank underwriting of corporate debt. In the 1960s the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
issued aggressive interpretations of Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
to permit national banks to engage in certain securities activities. Although most of these interpretations were overturned by court decisions, by the late 1970s bank regulators began issuing Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
interpretations that were upheld by courts and that permitted banks and their affiliates to engage in an increasing variety of securities activities. Starting in the 1960s banks and non-banks developed financial products that blurred the distinction between banking and securities products, as they increasingly competed with each other. Separately, starting in the 1980s, Congress debated bills to repeal Glass–Steagall's affiliation provisions (Sections 20 and 32). In 1999 Congress passed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999,[23] to repeal them. Eight days later, President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
signed it into law. Aftermath of repeal[edit] Main article: Glass–Steagall: Aftermath of repeal After the financial crisis of 2007–2008, some commentators argued that the repeal of Sections 20 and 32 had played an important role in leading to the housing bubble and financial crisis. Economics Nobel prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz, for instance, argued that "[w]hen repeal of Glass-Steagall brought investment and commercial banks together, the investment-bank culture came out on top", and banks which had previously been managed conservatively turned to riskier investments to increase their returns.[11] Another laureate, Paul Krugman, contended that the repealing of the act "was indeed a mistake"; however, it was not the cause of the financial crisis.[24] Other commentators believed that these banking changes had no effect, and the financial crisis would have happened the same way if the regulations had still been in force.[25] Lawrence J. White, for instance, noted that "it was not [commercial banks'] investment banking activities, such as underwriting and dealing in securities, that did them in".[26] At the time of the repeal, most commentators believed it would be harmless. Because the Federal Reserve's interpretations of the act had already weakened restrictions previously in place, commentators did not find much significance in the repeal, especially of sections 20 and 32.[14] Instead, the five year anniversary of its repeal was marked by numerous sources explaining that the GLBA had not significantly changed the market structure of the banking and securities industries. More significant changes had occurred during the 1990s when commercial banking firms had gained a significant role in securities markets through "Section 20 affiliates". Post-financial crisis reform debate[edit] Main article: Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
in post-financial crisis reform debate Following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, legislators unsuccessfully tried to reinstate Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Sections 20 and 32 as part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Both in the United States
United States
and elsewhere, banking reforms have been proposed that refer to Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
principles. These proposals include issues of “ring fencing” commercial banking operations and narrow banking proposals that would sharply reduce the permitted activities of commercial banks. See also[edit]

American International Group Arthur H. Vandenberg Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 Corporate law Decline of the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act Subprime mortgage crisis Systemic risk

Notes[edit]

^ a b CRS 2010a, pp. 1 and 5. Wilmarth 1990, p. 1161. ^ Wilmarth 2008, p. 560. ^ CRS 2010a, p. 10 ^ Reinicke 1995, pp. 104-105. Greenspan 1987, pp. 3 and 15-22. FRB 1998. ^ Macey 2000, p. 716. Wilmarth 2002, p. 219, fn. 5. ^ Wilmarth 2002, pp. 220 and 222. Macey 2000, pp. 691-692 and 716-718. Lockner and Hansche 2000, p. 37. ^ Simpson Thacher 1998, pp. 1-6. Lockner and Hansche 2000, p. 37. Macey 2000, p. 718. ^ "Money, power, and Wall Street: Transcript, Part 4, (quoted as "The Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
law is no longer appropriate—")". April 24 and May 1, 2012; encore performance July 3, 2012. PBS. Retrieved October 8, 2012.  Transcript of Clinton remarks at Financial Modernization bill signing, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Newswire, November 12, 1999, It is true that the Glass-Steagall law is no longer appropriate to the economy in which we lived. It worked pretty well for the industrial economy, which was highly organized, much more centralized and much more nationalized than the one in which we operate today. But the world is very different.  ^ "Statement on Signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act". The University of California, Santa Barbara – The American Presidency Project. November 12, 1999.  ^ Kuttner, Robert (October 2, 2007), "The Alarming Parallels Between 1929 and 2007", The American Prospect: 2, retrieved February 20, 2012 . ^ a b Stiglitz, Joseph E. "Joseph E. Stiglitz on capitalist fools". Retrieved 2016-09-11.  ^ White, Lawrence J. (2010), "The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999: A Bridge Too Far? Or Not Far Enough?" (PDF), Suffolk University Law Review, 43 (4): 938 and 943–946, retrieved February 20, 2012 [permanent dead link]. Markham, Jerry W. (2010), "The Subprime Crisis—A Test Match For The Bankers: Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
vs. Gramm-Leach-Bliley" (PDF), University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, 12 (4): 1092–1134, retrieved February 20, 2012 . ^ "FRB: Speech--Bernanke, Monetary Policy and the Housing Bubble--January 3, 2010". www.federalreserve.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-11.  ^ a b Mester, Loretta J. "Optimal industrial structure in banking." (2005). ^ Kennedy 1973, pp. 50-53 and 203-204. Perkins 1971, pp. 497-505. ^ Kennedy 1973, pp. 72-73. ^ Patrick 1993, pp. 172-174. Kelly III 1985, p. 54, fn. 171. Perkins 1971, p. 524. ^ Patrick 1993, pp. 168-172. Burns 1974, pp. 41-42 and 79. Kennedy 1973, pp. 212-219. ^ Kennedy 1973, pp. 103-128 and 204-205. Burns 1974, p 78. ^ Perino 2010 ^ Bentson 1990, pp. 47-89. Cleveland and Huertas 1985, pp. 172-187. ^ "Banking Act of 1933, commonly called Glass-Steagall".  ^ "Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, commonly called Gramm-Leach-Bliley".  ^ Krugman, Paul (2015-10-16). "Democrats, Republicans and Wall Street Tycoons". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-11.  ^ Gramm-Leach-Bliley Did Not Cause the Financial Crisis (PDF), American Bankers Association, January 2010, retrieved July 13, 2012 . Who Caused the Economic Crisis?, FactCheck.org, October 1, 2008, retrieved February 20, 2012  Bartiromo, Maria (September 23, 2008), " Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
on the banking crisis, McCain, and Hillary", Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine, retrieved October 11, 2012  ^ White, Lawrence J. (2010), "The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999: A Bridge Too Far? Or Not Far Enough?" (PDF), Suffolk University Law Review, 43 (4): 938 and 943–946, retrieved February 20, 2012 .

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Senate, to accompany H.R. 10, together with Additional Views (PDF), Government Printing Office, retrieved February 25, 2012 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) . United States
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Senate, July 13, 2004 (PDF), Government Printing Office, retrieved February 25, 2012 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) . Vietor, Richard (1987), "Chapter 2: Regulation-Defined Financial Markets: Fragmentation and Integration in Financial Services", in Hayes, Jr., Samuel L., Wall Street and Regulation, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, pp. 7–62, ISBN 0-87584-183-X . Volcker, Paul A. (February 25, 1997), Statement before the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, United States House of Representatives, The Committee on Financial Services, United States
United States
House of Representatives, retrieved February 25, 2012 . Volcker, Paul A. (May 14, 1997), Statement before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, United States
United States
House of Representatives, The Committee on Financial Services, United States House of Representatives, retrieved February 25, 2012 . White, Eugene N. (1992), The Comptroller and the Transformation of American Banking, 1960-1990, Washington D.C.: Comptroller of the Currency, OCLC 27088818 . Whitehead, Charles K. (2011), "The Volcker Rule and Evolving Financial Markets" (PDF), Harvard Business Law Review, 1 (1): 39–73, archived from the original (PDF) on July 10, 2012, retrieved February 19, 2012 . Willis, H. Parker (1935), "The Banking Act of 1933
Banking Act of 1933
in Operation", Columbia Law Review, 35 (5): 697–724, JSTOR 1115748 . Wilmarth, Jr., Arthur E. (1990), "The Expansion of State Bank Powers, the Federal Response, and the Case for Preserving the Dual Banking System", Fordham Law Review, 58 (6): 1133–1256, retrieved February 25, 2012 . Wilmarth, Jr., Arthur E. (1995), "Too Good to Be True - The Unfulfilled Promises behind Big Bank Mergers", Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance, 2 (1): 1–88, retrieved February 25, 2012 . Wilmarth, Jr., Arthur E. (2001), "How Should We Respond to the Growing Risks of Financial Conglomerates", Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper (034): 1–89, SSRN 291859  . Wilmarth, Jr., Arthur E. (2002), "The Transformation of the U.S. Financial Services Industry, 1975-2000: Competition, Consolidation and Increased Risks", University of Illinois Law Review, 2002 (2): 215–476, SSRN 315345  . Wilmarth, Jr., Arthur E. (2008), "Did Universal Banks Play a Significant Roe in the U.S. Economy's Boom-and-Bust Cycle of 1921-33? A Preliminary Assessment", Current Development in Monetary and Financial Law, 4, Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, pp. 559–645, ISBN 978-1-58906-507-9, SSRN 838267  .

Further reading[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
legislation

Anderson, Benjamin (1949), Economics and the Public Welfare, New York: D. Van Nostrand Company . Barth, James R.; Brumbaugh, R. Dan, Jr. & Wilcox, James A. (2000), "Policy Watch: The Repeal of Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
and the Advent of Broad Banking", Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14 (2): 191–204, doi:10.1257/jep.14.2.191, JSTOR 2647102 . Blass, Asher A.; Grossman, Richard S. (1998), "Who Needs Glass–Steagall? Evidence From Israel's Bank Share Crisis and the Great Depression", Contemporary Economic Policy, 16 (2): 185–196, doi:10.1111/j.1465-7287.1998.tb00511.x, retrieved February 27, 2012 . Burns, Arthur F. (1988), The Ongoing Revolution in American Banking, Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, ISBN 0-8447-3654-6 . Calomiris, Charles W.; White, Eugene N. (1994), "The Origins of Federal Deposit Insurance, chapter 5 in The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy, edited by Claudia Golden and Gary D. Libecap" (PDF), Journal of Comparative Business and Capital Market Law, 5 (2): 137–193, retrieved February 27, 2012 . Calomiris, Charles W. (2000), U.S. Bank Deregulation in Historical Perspective, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-58362-4  Canals, Jordi (1997), Universal Banking: International Comparisons and Theoretical Perspectives, Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press, ISBN 0-19-877506-7 . Coggins, Bruce (1998), Does Financial Deregulation Work? A Critique of Free Market Approaches, New Directions in Modern Economics, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, ISBN 1-85898-638-9 . Firzli, M. Nicolas (January 2010), "Bank Regulation and Financial Orthodoxy: the Lessons from the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act", Revue Analyse Financière (in French): 49–52 . Hambley, Winthrop P. (September 1999), "The Great Debate-What will become of financial modernization", Community Investments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 11 (2): 1–3, retrieved February 16, 2012 . Huertas, Thomas (1983), "Chapter 1: The Regulation of Financial Institutions: A Historical Perspective on Current Issues", in Benston, George J., Financial Services: The Changing Institutions and Government Policy, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-316513-2 . Kroszner, Randall S. & Rajan, Raghuram G. (1994), "Is the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act Justified? A Study of the U.S. Experience with Universal Banking Before 1933", American Economic Review, 84 (4): 810–832, JSTOR 2118032 . Lewis, Toby (January 22, 2010), "New Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Will Shake Private Equity", Financial News . Mester, Loretta J. (1996), "Repealing Glass–Steagall: The Past Points the Way to the Future", Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review (July/August), retrieved February 25, 2012 [permanent dead link]. Minsky, Hyman (1982), Can It Happen Again?, Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 0-873-32213-4 . Mishkin, Frederic S. (2006), "How Big a Problem is Too Big to Fail? A Review of Gary Stern and Ron Feldman's Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts" (PDF), Journal of Economic Literature, 44 (December): 988–1004, doi:10.1257/jel.44.4.988, archived from the original (PDF) on August 21, 2014, retrieved February 25, 2012 . Pecora, Ferdinand (1939), "Wall Street Under Oath: The Story of Our Modern Money Changers", (reprint of 1939 edition pubslished by Simon &Schuster, New York ), Reprints of Economics Classics, New York: A.M. Kelley (published 1966), LCCN 68-20529 . Saunders, Anthony; Walter, Ingo (1994), Universal Banking in the United States: What could we gain? What could we lose?, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508069-6 . Saunders, Anthony; Walter, Ingo, eds. (1997), Universal Banking: Financial System Design Reconsidered, Chicago: Irwin Professional Publishing, ISBN 0-7863-0466-9 . Uchitelle, Louis (February 16, 2010), "Elders of Wall St. Favor More Regulation", New York Times . White, Eugene Nelson (1986), "Before the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act: An analysis of the investment banking activities of national banks", Explorations in Economic History, 23 (1): 33–55, doi:10.1016/0014-4983(86)90018-5 . Willis, Henry Parker; Chapman, John (1934), The Banking Situation: American Post-War Problems and Developments, New York: Columbia University Press, OCLC 742920 . Wilmarth, Jr., Arthur E. (2007), "Walmart and the Separation of Banking and Commerce", Connecticut Law Review, 39 (4): 1539–1622, SSRN 984103  .

External links[edit]

Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act – further readings[permanent dead link] On the systematic dismemberment of the Act from PBS's Frontline Full text of the Glass–Steagall
Glass–Steagall
Act followed by New York Federal Reserve Bank Explanation Glass Subcommittee hearings Pecora Investigation hearings FDIC History: 1933-1983 1987 Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Jackson Hole Symposium on Restructuring the Financial System Public Law 73-66, 73d Congress, H.R. 5661: an Act to Provide for the Safer and More Effective Use of the Assets of Banks, to Regulate Interbank Control, to Prevent the Undue Diversion of Funds into Speculative Operations The Southeast Missourian, March 10, 1933 details legislative debate when passing the bill

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Bank regulation in the United States

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Major federal legislation

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