Essays in the Tradition of Jane D'Arista
Edited by Gerald A. Epstein, Tom Schlesinger and Matías Vernengo
Chapter 7: Lessons from the Glass–Steagall Act
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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