Arguably the passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and the effective repeal of GlassSteagall Act of 1933 was at the root cause of the banking collapse. The Glass-Steagall Act prohibited any one institution from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company.
"The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allowed commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to consolidate. For example, Citicorp (a commercial bank holding company) merged with Travelers Group (an insurance company) in 1998 to form the conglomerate Citigroup, a corporation combining banking, securities and insurance services under a house of brands that included Citibank, Smith Barney, Primerica, and Travelers. This combination, announced in 1993 and finalized in 1994, would have violated the Glass-Steagall Act and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 by combining securities, insurance, and banking, if not for a temporary waiver process. The law was passed to legalize these mergers on a permanent basis".
It's passage stripped away 66 years of protection from monopolistic banking malpractice. The banks were unleashed and the madness of greed blinded them to their own foibles. Thus creating the premise of "too big to let fail". "The problems of "Too Big To Fail" are related to the concept of moral hazards. Because of society's implicit guarantee of their survival, firms considered "too big to fail" have more incentive to take positions with high-risk, high-reward positions, since rewards would accrue to their directors and shareholders, while catastrophic losses would be born by taxpayers (e.g., through a government bailout). A secondary effect is to reduce or eliminate a firm's incentive for proper risk management, normally a complex and expensive aspect of business. The phrase has also been more broadly applied to refer to a government's policy to bail out any corporation". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_Big_to_Fail
The hypocrisy of the Republicans is again going full tilt with the recent triad against the Banking Reform Bill making its way through congress. Mitch, "the mouth from the south," McConell is pontificating "ex cathedra" that the new Democratic sponsored banking reform bill was a "Bank Bailout Bill", trying to tap into the anger of the average American towards the term Bank Bailout. The claim echoes advice from Republican pollster Frank Luntz to members of the GOP who oppose the financial industry reform bill to label it a "bailout" bill.
The truth is that before the Republican led bailout under George Bush Mitch McConnell had a very close relationship with the CEO of AIG, in fact, "the senator had given paid speeches for AIG, and had stepped in on its behalf in federal disputes. In 1987, McConnell tried to spare AIG from having to pay claims on the $200 million policy it underwrote for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. The bugged building had to be rebuilt.
Calling the Banking Reform Bill, a "Bailout Bill" is a breathtakingly disingenuous misstatement from one of the republican leaders who voted to for the: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act according to GovTrack: Senate Vote On Passage: S. 900 [106th]: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: Kentucky: Yea McConnell, Mitch [R]
His in your face arrogance is especially egregious, considering McConnell received ($3,459,021 million) in donations from the "Finance, Insurance and Real Estate" sector more than any other sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Mitch McConnell: Campaign Finance/Money - Industries - Senator 2010 | OpenSecrets
To say that Mitch McConell doesn't give a flying flip about the average American is an understatement, because this is the same Mitch McConell named "Insurance Puppet" by Public Campaign Action Fund's national campaigns director after taking in $523,000, and delivering 50 speeches on the the floor of the Senate parroting the insurance industries talking points and calling the Health Care Bill a "socialist take over" of the health care industry. Who's Pulling the Strings?--InsurancePuppets.com
HealthCare Bill: Kentucky: Nay McConnell, Mitch [R]
Commentary: Its been said that America has the best Government (politicians) money can buy. The truth of that statement becomes more and more evident if you follow the money trail. The political leaders in this country have formed their own interests contrary to the needs of the people who have elected them. The recent furor of the Tea Party is a joke. The joke is on the people being duped by right winged politicians and their talking heads who are bought and paid for by the real power brokers in this country. The only hope for this country is the vote, before Corporations, like Diebold, in concert with corrupt politicians install electronic voting machines and take away even that fundamental right, like they did in 2000, 2004 and tried to do again in 2008.