Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Should We Reinstate Glass-Steagall?

Question: Why did you oppose the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, which removed the long held separation between commercial and investment banks?

Richard Shelby:  I opposed and I believe it was in 1999.  I think I was the only Republican that voted against the repeal of Glass-Steagall because it had worked for years.  What it did basically is separate investment banking, which is highly leveraged banking from commercial banking, which is highly regulated.  When you repealed Glass-Steagall you put it all in commercial banking and you’ve seen a lot of problems that come with it.  We were assured then, but I didn’t believe it at the time, that they would not be putting the taxpayers at risk you know by doing this.  Now we know better than that.  Now the question is can we change that.  I don’t know if we can ever go back to Glass-Steagall as it was, but the regulators can do a lot toward making sure that the commercial banks don’t jeopardize themselves by their investment banking or proprietary trading. 

Question: Would you advocate reinstituting a separation now?

Richard Shelby:  I don’t know if we can reinstitute Glass-Steagall.  Some people have advocated.  Dr. Volcker has advocated it.  Senator McCain and others have because once something has passed it’s passed, but I think if we can’t do that that we certainly could make sure through the regulatory process that the taxpayers are not put in harm’s way. 

Question: Is it time to stop subsidizing mortgage indebtedness, get rid of Fannie, Freddie, FHA and mortgage interest deduction? (Arnold Kling, Econlog)

Richard Shelby:  Well, you ask a lot of questions there.  The Fannie and Freddie, they’re going to be gone.  And they’re already gone as far as a viable private or hybrid enterprise.  The question is, how long will it be before the private sector can pick up the role that they’re doing? And what role will that be? As far as mortgage deduction you know that is very popular in America and it’s probably aided and abetted a lot of homeownership, so that’s probably some that most people wouldn’t touch. 

Recorded on January 22, 2010

Senator Richard Shelby isn’t so sure we’d be able to reinstitute the separation between commercial and investment banks. He is sure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be gone.

LIVE TOMORROW | Jordan Klepper: Comedians vs. the apocalypse

Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

LGBTQ+ community sees spike in first-time depression in wake of coronavirus​

Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Coronavirus
  • Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
  • Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
  • The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Keep reading Show less

The mind-blowing science of black holes

What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.

Videos
  • When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
  • A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
  • Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less

Space travel could create language unintelligible to people on Earth

A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.

Credit: NASA Ames Research Center.
Surprising Science
  • A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
  • Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
  • This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast