The Glass-Steagall Act, the law that supposedly separates commercial from investment banking, is dead-or so it would seem. Regulatory actions and business developments over the past several years make it quite easy to reach this conclusion.

The principal issue in the financial service reform debate is now bank insurance, not bank securities activities. Many banking organizations, in particular larger ones, have concluded that they don't need Glass-Steagall reform anymore, because they now can engage in significant-and profitable- securities dealing and underwriting activities without the need for legislation.

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