Bank On Change

In repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, Congress is giving its blessing to what bankers have already done. Expect fewer banks. Hope for better ones

Last year the deal-a-day CEO of financial-services giant Travelers Group, Sanford I. Weill, called then Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to impart important news. "You're buying the government?" Rubin quipped. Well, no. But the remark was more on the money than either could have known.

Weill was proposing to merge Travelers, deeply ensconced in insurance and stock brokerages, with the nation's second largest bank, Citicorp, in a deal that would tread all over Depression-era legislation prohibiting such an expansive combination. He would need bank regulators, immediately, and Congress, in short order, to clear a path. No surprise to Weill watchers, "Sandy" got...

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