(Edward Morgan) The Glass-Steagall Act, part of the Banking Act of 1933, was landmark banking legislation that separated Wall Street from Main Street by offering protection to people who entrust their savings to commercial banks. Millions of Americans lost their jobs in the Great Depression, and one in four lost their life savings after more than 4,000 U.S. banks shut down between 1929 and 1933, leaving depositors with nearly $400 million in losses. The Glass-Steagall Act prohibited bankers from using depositors’ money to pursue high-risk investments, but the act was effectively undercut by looser restrictions in the deregulatory environment of the 1980s and 1990s.
(Daisy Luther) It’s undeniable that we’re heading into an economic crisis, but how bad are things really? Pundits are making comparisons to the Great Depression based on unemployment numbers, looming evictions, and unprecedented lines at food banks. But does our situation actually compare to the worst economic downturn in the industrialized world?