Trump’s Glass-Steagall Call Came from Bankers Committed to Real Economy

Donald Trump’s call that “it’s time for a 21st Century Glass Steagall” stated in his Oct. 26 Charlotte speech, goes back to deeper roots in that side of the American banking system committed to increased productivity through loans to manufacturing, agriculture and infrastructure. This includes thousands of community banks that oppose Wall Street’s casino economy.

These forces gathered at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 2016 to insert Glass-Steagall into the Republican Party platform, prior to the July 18-21 Republican National Convention. Columnist John Gizzi, in an article in the July 12 Newsmax, entitled “Why Is Bernie Sanders’ Favorite Legislation in GOP Platform?” disclosed, “Meeting at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland [on July 11], the Government Reform Subcommittee of the GOP Platform Committee voted to include in the party platform restoration of Glass-Steagall landmark legislation that separated risky trading and investment form traditional banking activities such as business lending and consumer finance after it was passed in 1933.”

Gizzi stressed, “As to how … Glass-Steagall found its way into the Republican Platform, I spoke to the driving force behind it within the GOP. John Lynch, Platform Committee member from Illinois and past president of the First Midwest Bank in Chicago recalled that, ‘Glass-Steagall was always the wall that kept consumer banking away from big risks. Bill Clinton broke down that wall when he signed its repeal in 1999.'” Gizzi continued quoting Lynch to the effect that that the repeal of Glass-Steagall “exposed consumer banking to higher risks, as some people sought to make as much money as possible.”

Lynch had several decades experience as an employee and then as an officer in regional banks in the Midwest. He rose to become President of the Midwest Bank of Illinois, which is now a $11 billion in assets community bank with offices in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.

In his biography on LinkedIn, Lynch, a strong Trump supporter, cited among his publications, the “Reinstate Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 Amendment to 2016 GOP Platform,” which he defined in his own words as:

“In order to prevent another collapse of our U.S. banking system and a major recession or depression, I propose reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, enacted in response to the failure of 5,000 U.S. banks and the Great Depression, prohibiting commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment banking, insurance and other non-banking businesses. It was repealed under President Clinton in 1999 at the request of Citibank and ultimately led to the 2008 financial collapse and a recession, as well as the taxpayer funded bailout…. Crooked Hillary would definitely vote against my proposal because she is ‘owned’ by the megabanks and Wall Street.”

Within one week, on July 20, an agitated American Banker Magazine, ran the banner headline, “Is Trump the Community Banking Candidate?”

The LaRouche movement’s unflinching multi-year fight for restoration of Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall has generated the force and context for Lynch and others to come forward with this proposal. This extends considerably beyond Trump, as the basis for enactment of LaRouche’s Four Laws for restarting, and a revolutionary transformation of the U.S. and world economy.

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