Cooling off

At last our weather is growing cooler here in Northern Virginia. However the southeast is still suffering with drought.  Hopefully we will receive some rain in the near future.  Its too late to help the trees gracefully enter autumn.  Instead, many are simply losing their dried brown leaves.  I am envious of those further north who are experiencing better fall conditions.


Daddy Chris and Christopher on Veteran’s Day.  Chris is a career vet, home from the Middle East for now

Above a photo from Granddaughter Rita.  As you can see, on Veterans Day the leaves on Oak tree above Chris’ head were still green. Of course, the oaks are the last to turn in fall, as anyone who has found themselves raking leaves in January knows.


Yesterday, after I poured vinegar on the noxious weed that found its way into my side yard and walked my dogs I began reading The Presidents’ Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. A very good book describing presidental transitions from Roosevelt to Obama.

One can only hope that when Mr. Trump, who does not read books and relies on his own judgment, will have as insightful and good experience. Every president entering office has discovered the job is much more complex and difficult than they imagined. Presidents really do “learn on the job.”

The first thing they learn, as any of us who have worked for the federal gaovernment understands, is that changing anything in Washington is much more difficult than they imagined. And as Mr Trump is already discovering, undoing something your predecessor did is a huge challenge. “Mend it, don’t end it,” is the byword as president after president discovers.

According to Dana Milbank, Wapo reporter, the last time the US had a Republican president and a Republican congress was 1928 under Hoover.  Historians know it wasn’t the best year the US economy ever had.  But they also know the blame for the crash and subsequent world-wide Depression wasn’t because of Hoover, but owing to policies and events that preceded him in office  Change doesn’t happen quickly.

The failure of the banks under Bush in the last decade probably had more to do with eliminating Glass Steagall (the New Deal law that put some restraints on bankers) during Clinton’s presidency and New Gingrich’s tenure in a Republican Congress than anything else.

What will matter as Mr Trump enters the office of president will be who he surrounds himself with, moderate Republicans or wacko alt-right types like Steve Bannon and Sarah Palin. One can only hope and pray. In the end, David and I hope he will govern more like Ronald Reagan who looks better every day.

The Glass–Steagall Act describes four provisions of the U.S. Banking Act of 1933 that limited securities, activities, and affiliations within commercial banks and securities firms.[1]

The Glass–Steagall Act also is used to refer to the entire Banking Act of 1933, after its Congressional sponsors, Senator Carter Glass (Democrat) of Virginia, and Representative Henry B. Steagall (D) of Alabama.[2] This article deals with only the four provisions separating commercial and investment banking. The article 1933 Banking Act describes the entire law, including the legislative history of the Glass–Steagall provisions separating commercial and investment banking. A separate 1932 law also known as the Glass–Steagall Act is described in the article Glass–Steagall Act of 1932.

Starting in the early 1960s, federal banking regulators interpreted provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act to permit commercial banks and especially commercial bank affiliates to engage in an expanding list and volume of securities activities.[3] Congressional efforts to “repeal the Glass–Steagall Act”, referring to those four provisions (and then usually to only the two provisions that restricted affiliations between commercial banks and securities firms),[4] culminated in the 1999 Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), which repealed the two provisions restricting affiliations between banks and securities firms.[5]

By that time, many commentators argued Glass–Steagall was already “dead.”[6] Most notably, Citibank’s 1998 affiliation with Salomon Smith Barney, one of the largest US securities firms, was permitted under the Federal Reserve Board’s then existing interpretation of the Glass–Steagall Act.[7] President Bill Clinton publicly declared “the Glass–Steagall law is no longer appropriate.”[8]

Many commentators have stated that the GLBA’s repeal of the affiliation restrictions of the Glass–Steagall Act was an important cause of the financial crisis of 2007–08.[9][10] Economists at the Federal Reserve, such as Ben Bernanke, have argued that the activities linked to the financial crisis were not prohibited (or, in most cases, even regulated) by the Glass–Steagall Act.[11][12][13]

14 thoughts on “Cooling off

  1. I’ve long regretted they did away with Glass-Steagall Act. You’re presenting sound reasonable descriptions of how consequences for better or worse during any administration can and often reflect actions that occurred in earlier administrations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know only the bare bones of the Glass–Steagall Act , but it does seem that it would protect a lot of the biggest banks from themselves … and therefore for us as well. As far as the weather goes, we just came up north from South Carolina to Connecticut. The weather was better in SC — sunny and high of 70, compared to rainy and high in the mid-40s in Conn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Never forget Kennedy’s words. The dream never dies. We have midterms in two years. Democrats need to get their act together. This defeat should help mobilize them. Americans don’t like aristocracy, never have never will.


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