Tags: FDIC | Hoenig | Glass-Steagall | Banks

FDIC’s Hoenig: Glass-Steagall Revival Would Bolster Banks

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 05:14 PM

A revival of the Glass-Steagall Act, the Depression-era law that separated commercial and investment banking, is “absolutely necessary” to protect the U.S. financial system, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp board member Thomas Hoenig said Tuesday in a Bloomberg Radio interview.

Using Dodd-Frank Act powers to break up banks one-by-one is the wrong approach to removing the threat that risky trading could spark a repeat of the 2008 credit crisis, Hoenig said on “The Hays Advantage” with Kathleen Hays.

“It’s picking winners and losers based on what they present to you, and I think it is fraught with problems,” said Hoenig, who retired as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City before joining the FDIC in April.

Dodd-Frank, the regulatory overhaul enacted in response to the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, gives regulators power to force banks to simplify their business if so-called living wills can’t show how they could be unwound in the event of a collapse. Hoenig, 65, said the government should go further, reinstituting the separation that ended when Glass- Steagall was repealed in 1999.

Taking that step would remove government safety nets from the banks’ riskiest investment behavior and “reinvigorate” the U.S. investment banking industry, Hoenig said.

“If we don’t make these changes, I think we’re destined to repeat the mistakes of the past,” he said.

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Tuesday, 26 June 2012 05:14 PM
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