Dr. McDonald also reviews the economic literature, concluding that Glass-Steagall was not even the appropriate response to the banking problems of the 1920s and 1930s in the first place. What’s more, had Glass-Steagall remained fully in force after 1999, the financial crisis of 2008 would have largely looked the same. As I’ve written elsewhere, Glass-Steagall has essentially become a symbolic lens—a “Rorschach Test” that reflects one’s views on the power of big banks. However, if we truly wish to end bailouts, we need to get the history, law and economics right. Dr. McDonald’s paper makes an important contribution in that direction.
While I agree with Bart Hinkle, I go even further than he does: I reject the notion that even a sitting president of the executive branch of the national government of the United States is “my” president. Obama – like Bush, Clinton, et al., before him, and like Trump, et al., after him – is not and never will be any more “my” president than will, say, any president of Apple, a company with which I do a great deal of business. Both officials influence my life, but I owe no, and shall never give any, allegiance to any such official. Yet were I forced to choose which person – the U.S. president or the Apple president – is “my” president, I’d choose the latter because, well, I actually choose to do business with the latter. My relationship with the Apple president is voluntary; that official exercises no power over me. It’s quite the contrary with the U.S. president: that official exercises genuine power over me – and the exercise of such power does not make that official “mine.”