Worth reviewing this story from the New York Times, November 5, 1999:
Congress approved landmark legislation today that opens the door for a new era on Wall Street in which commercial banks, securities houses and insurers will find it easier and cheaper to enter one another’s businesses…
”Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,” Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ”This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.”
The decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 provoked dire warnings from a handful of dissenters that the deregulation of Wall Street would someday wreak havoc on the nation’s financial system.
The dissenters, led by Senators Byron Dorgan and Paul Wellstone, were generally derided as retrograde anti-free marketeers who just didn’t understand Wall Street and the geniuses who ran it.
Note: Turns out that Matthew Yglesias had posted an item about this story yesterday.