WASHINGTON — The principal argument for national preemption — that states would run amok, crafting conflicting rules that would make doing business nationwide impossible — is undercut by recent history.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 set federal standards governing financial privacy, but explicitly let states go further. In the decade since, only three states have used that power, and despite dire predictions that even one state law could wreak havoc, banks' operations have not been impaired.

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