Whether Glass-Steagall would have prevented the great financial meltdown of 2007 through 2009 remains debatable. Nevertheless, hearing Sandy Weill, who effectively served as the law’s official undertaker, essentially call for its reinstatement is nothing short of remarkable (and perhaps more than a little frustrating). Going far beyond the proprietary trading limitations contemplated by the Volcker Rule, it would require the breaking up of the largest financial institutions into commercial banks accepting insured deposits and investment banks.
The arguments over the relatively modest reforms contemplated by Dodd-Frank continue virtually unabated. However, given the spate of recent events involving massive hedging losses and LIBOR manipulation, any law or regulation which could effectively mitigate at least the worst excesses of the financial system has to be strongly considered.