Letters from our Readers: How America first got in this financial mess

What went wrong with Bear Stearns, Lehman and AIG could not have happened without Congress repealing the Glass-Steagall Act. That “iron door” separating banking from investing was replaced with a shell game among insurance, currencies and hedge funds. The new “trading shops” (formerly banks) expected that “extreme negative events” might happen just once every 100 years.

U.S. banks should not be a front for “betting halls.” We must revoke the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act to put our country back on track. Congressional hearings such as the 1930s Pecora Hearings could reveal the greed that drove individuals to sanction actions leading to the potential financial ruin of this great nation.

Gerald Butrimovitz, San Francisco

Reform banking system

One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers set off a series of federal interventions, the government is the nation’s biggest lender, insurer, automaker and guarantor against risk for investors large and small. Federal spending is a bigger share of the nation’s economy — 26 percent — than at any time since World War II.

Simply funding the banking system without reforming it is an expensive and dangerous game. President Barack Obama and Congress could truly fix things by dividing the Wall Street mega-banks under a new Glass-Steagall Act.

But will they?

Ted Rudow III, Menlo Park

Looks like Vietnam redux

The Examiner letter writer who wanted the new rules to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan eased back should consider the implications of his own comment that women and children were reloading for the Afghans who pinned down the U.S. Marines. Wouldn’t that seem as if the Afghan people just plain don’t want us there?

So are we supposed to win back their hearts and minds by freely killing lots more of them? Vietnam déjà vu all over again — and we didn’t win there either.

Reg Stocking, San Francisco

Better insurance for less

President Barack Obama says, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” This statement is not true. For example, if the plan you have now excludes coverage for pre-existing conditions, that will go away. If they have a cap on what they will pay out if you are really sick, that will go away.

If they want to drop you when you are sick or raise your rates so you can’t afford it, that will go away as well. You will no longer be denied life-saving procedures by insurance company death panels like you have now.

So when Obama says that you can keep your health plan, don’t believe him. He’s going to force you to get a better plan for less money, whether you like it or not.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy

2009letters to the editorOpinionSFExaminer

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
Shutterstock
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

COVID restrictions have prompted a benefit or two, such as empty streets in The City. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Taking the scenic route through a pandemic

Streets of San Francisco are pleasantly free of traffic

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>
‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ boasts full-scale diversity

Though familiar in plot, Disney’s latest is buoyed by beauty, pride and power

Most Read