2008-10-01 Clinton says Deregulation Not to Blame for Crisis

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Former President Bill Clinton says deregulation of financial institutions is not to blame for the mortgage market mess.

Clinton was asked in an interview if he regretted signing legislation in 1999 that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which had separated commercial and investment banking.

"No, because it wasn't a complete deregulation at all. We still have heavy regulations and insurance on bank deposits, requirements on banks for capital and for disclosure," Clinton said emphatically in the Business Week interview.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed the Senate on a 90-8 vote, among them 38 Democrats, some of them quite vocal supporters of the deregulation bill, including Sens. Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Dick Durbin, Tom Daschle, and Joe Biden.

"Schumer was especially fulsome in his endorsement," observes[1] The Wall Street Journal.

Now, according to The Journal, these facts will likely come as news to many, including the national press corps and presidential candidate Barack Obama, who are promoting the idea that deregulation is to blame for the mortgage market meltdown.

A nice bit of distortion from Newsmax: Clinton says Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) wasn't responsible; GLB was deregulation, therefore deregulation wasn't responsible.

Also, as near as I can tell, the "90-8" figure is a fabrication; the Senate vote was 54-44, with all Republicans voting in favor and only one Democrat (Fritz Hollings of SC[1]) in favor.


  1. 2008-10-01 Bill v. Barack on BanksThis source is at least partly behind a paywall. "Clinton instructs Obama on finance and Phil Gramm."