Finance

Sanders and Mnuchin clash over Glass-Steagall

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and liberal Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) engaged in a testy exchange over President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to enact a “21st Century Glass-Steagall Act,” a financial regulation separating commercial and investment banking.

Mnuchin’s first report outlining principles of financial regulation, released Monday, made no mention of an updated version of Glass-Steagall, a 1933 regulation repealed under President Bill Clinton.

Mnuchin told Sanders that there were, essentially, three different “21st Century Glass-Steagall” acts: the one on which Trump campaigned, the one passed in the Republican platform and one in the form of legislation recently introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).

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“During the campaign, we specifically said that we believed in a 21st-century Glass-Steagall. That was differentiated from what was the Republican Party view of Glass-Steagall,” Mnuchin began before Sanders cut him off.

“Whoa, whoa. Let me get this right. I don’t mean to interrupt you, Mr. Mnuchin,” Sanders started in.

“But you are — you are interrupting me. You’re not letting me finish my comment,” Mnuchin responded.

“But I have very limited time, and what you’re saying is that the language that Trump put into the Republican platform is not really the language that he believed in,” Sanders said.

Mnuchin argued that Trump was not responsible for the language in the Republican party platform and that Trump opposed actions that would break up big banks, as forcing a separation between commercial and investment banking would do.

“We think that that would hurt the economy, that would ruin liquidity in the market. What we are focused on is safe and prudent regulation for the large banks so we don’t have taxpayer risk,” Mnuchin said.

When Sanders noted the legislation of the same name, Mnuchin said it was “an unfortunate coincidence.”

In May, Warren and Mnuchin had a similar stand-off at a hearing.

“This is like something straight out of George Orwell,” Warren said at the time.

Tags Bernie Sanders Bill Clinton Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren John McCain
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