Sandy Weill: the architect of megabanks says America should break them up

I first got wind of this story from an email subscription to the CPA Letter Daily.  They titled it, Former Citigroup CEO calls for return of Glass-Steagall Act.

Sandy Weill, who practically invented the mega-bank when he ran Citigroup in the 1990s, said such banks should be broken up. Weill pushed for a return of the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated banks’ deposit-taking operations from trading businesses. “Have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not going to be too big too fail,”

The email had several links, Sandy Weill: the architect of megabanks says America should break them up in the UK Telegraph.  This has more than was written in the CPA Letter Daily.

Most of the video of the interview can be seen on the CNBC web site, Weill: Why Big Banks Should Be Broken Up.  I had a hard time getting the video to play, but eventually it did play.  Despite this difficulty, it is worth trying to view the video because you get a better feel for what he really did say than you get from the brief printed quotes in the other  two sources mentioned above.

Even Jon Stewart on The Daily Show remarked (humorously) about Sandy Weill’s interview.

I found it ironic when Weill compared the need of the banks to attract the best and the brightest in order to be competitive to the need for Silicon Valley companies to attract the best and the brightest engineers for them to succeed.  Having spent 40 years in the industry whose United States segment  is now concentrated in Silicon Valley, I observed that the best and the brightest were lured away from Silicon Valley to better paying jobs applying their computer skills on Wall Street.  The ability of Wall Street’s shenanigans to pay engineers better than engineering is part of what is wrong with this country.

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