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Banking, Monetary Policy and the Political Economy of Financial Regulation

Banking, Monetary Policy and the Political Economy of Financial Regulation

Essays in the Tradition of Jane D'Arista

Edited by Gerald A. Epstein, Tom Schlesinger and Matías Vernengo

The many forces that led to the economic crisis of 2008 were in fact identified, analyzed and warned against for many years before the crisis by economist Jane D’Arista, among others. Now, writing in the tradition of D’Arista's extensive work, the internationally renowned contributors to this thought-provoking book discuss research carried out on various indicators of the crisis and illustrate how these perspectives can contribute to productive thinking on monetary and financial policies.

Chapter 7: Lessons from the Glass–Steagall Act

Ellen D. Russell

Subjects: economics and finance, financial economics and regulation, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy


Jane D’Arista’s outstanding contributions to the study of financial markets have been a cornerstone for scholars and policy makers seeking to reform the financial sector. Her vast knowledge of the evolution of financial practices, instruments and institutions has been a critical source of insight for those wishing to design financial regulation that anticipates and responds to the dynamism of financial markets. Perhaps most importantly, D’Arista has always addressed financial reform as a component of larger progressive economic agendas. During years when advocates for progressive economic change had largely overlooked the domestic financial sector, D’Arista insisted that heterodox scholars and activists focus on the relationship between financial reform and the pursuit of larger economic aspirations. Progressive political economists began to delve more deeply into the study of financial regulation when the Bretton Woods arrangements that had prevailed during the golden age of Keynesian welfare state capitalism began to unravel. While critics of neoliberalism focused on the increasingly pervasive influences of international finance, the heterodox analysis of domestic financial markets lagged behind. Fortunately, D’Arista’s work for the US Congress (at the House Banking Committee and the Telecommunications and Finance Committee), and her scholarly contributions (such as her classic The Evolution of U.S. Finance) documented the destabilizing dynamics and other perverse economic tendencies that emanate from neoliberal deregulation in the domestic financial sector.

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