Posted by | July 26, 2012 13:25 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Sanford Weill is the former head of Citibank and largely blamed for the bank’s near collapse in 2008.  Well, he has had a revelation.

On Wednesday morning, the 79-year-old Weill, one of the 20th century’s most acquisitive bankers, stepped up to the mic to endorse … breaking up the banks. “What we should probably do is go split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit-takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail,” he remarked on CNBC.

Essentially, Weill was calling for the resurrection of the Glass-Steagall Act, which for 66 years separated pure deposit banking from other financial services until it was repealed in 1999, much to the Street’s glee. (The 1998 merger that built Citigroup required the Federal Reserve to temporarily waive the Act.)

I was going to use the phrase, “better late than never,” but it seems like “a day late and a dollar short” is more appropriate in this case.

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.