The Financial Crisis for Beginners
Mystified by the financial crisis?
Here’s one of the simplest — and most accurate — descriptions I’ve encountered yet:
My mother is paying taxes to the government. The government is giving her money to the banks. The banks are gambling like they’re watching “Fast Money.’ But my mother didn’t sign up for that.
–Dylan Ratigan, quoted in “From CNBC Business Journalist to Critic of Bankers on MSNBC”; The NY Times (6/27/2010)
Unfortunately, it’s really not much more complicated than that.
From 1934 to 1999, “betting with grandma’s money” was illegal, thanks to a Depression-era law called The Glass-Steagall Act.
Wall Street got that law repealed — and its legislative agenda enacted generally — in the last 15 years or so.