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Treasury Secretary Testifies on Banking Bill; Says Bank Breakups Would Pose Economic Problems

Lawmakers continue to support a bill that would, among other things, re-impose Glass-Steagall Act restrictions on financial institutions and repeal provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that permit financial holding companies to engage in a wide range of financial activities, including certain securities activities. One controversial provision of the bill would mandate the separation of banks’ commercial banking and securities businesses. At a recent hearing of the Senate Banking Committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the Trump Administration does not support the separation of banks from investment banks. A Bloomberg report on the hearing noted that while Mnuchin voiced support for certain aspects of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, he emphasized that he did not support the separation provision and said that breaking up banks would negatively affect market liquidity and pose other economic problems. 

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