The truth is, however, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act [,which was passed in 1999 and repealed portions of the Glass-Steagall Act, a piece of legislation from the era of the Great Depression that imposed a number of regulations on financial institutions] had little if anything to do with the current crisis. In fact, economists on both sides of the political spectrum have suggested that the act has probably made the crisis less severe than it might otherwise have been.
Last year the liberal writer Robert Kuttner, in a piece in The American Prospect, argued that “this old-fashioned panic is a child of deregulation.” But even he didn’t lay the blame primarily on Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Instead, he described “serial bouts of financial deregulation” going back to the 1970s. And he laid blame on policies of the Federal Reserve Board under Alan Greenspan, saying “the Fed has become the chief enabler of a dangerously speculative economy.”
Fact Check goes on debunking a few more election-year myths and then asks “So who is to blame?”
There’s plenty of blame to go around, and it doesn’t fasten only on one party or even mainly on what Washington did or didn’t do. As The Economist magazine noted recently, the problem is one of “layered irresponsibility … with hard-working homeowners and billionaire villains each playing a role.”
To see the full list, please see the FactCheck analysis under the headline “The Real Deal.”