In what has become an annual event during her time in Congress, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has once again teamed up with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Angus King (I-Maine) to file legislation that would restore and modernize the Glass-Steagall Act.
The bill, the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, seeks to separate traditional banks that hold savings and checking accounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from financial institutions that offer higher-risk services such as investment banking, insurance, swaps dealing, and hedge fund and private equity activities. The legislation also separates depository institutions from products that did not exist when Glass-Steagall was originally passed, including structured and synthetic products, complex derivatives, and swaps.
Core provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act were repealed in 1999 with the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, “shattering the wall dividing commercial banks and investment banks,” McCain said in a statement. With the legislation, "big Wall Street institutions should be free to engage in transactions with significant risk, but not with federally insured deposits,” he said.