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

SF police issue first citation for violating stay at home order to abortion protester

Ronald Konopaski, 86, cited outside Planned Parenthood for allegedly failing to shelter in place

Pier 39 aquarium staff furloughed — but what about the fish?

Aquarium of the Bay raising funds from public to keep up operations during shutdown

Help the San Francisco Examiner, SF Weekly continue our mission of providing free, local news

This week, I was faced with the heartbreaking task of reducing the hours — and therefore the pay — of the very journalists who report, write, edit and photograph that news.

San Francisco police begin issuing citations for failing to shelter in place

Officers to cite businesses, people who fail to heed warnings

Ride-hail drivers left idling by coronavirus shutdown looking for a lift

Bay Area ride-hail drivers are among those who have been hit hardest… Continue reading

Most Read