Many culprits contributed to the recent financial meltdown, but the financial modernization legislation of the late 1990s was not one of them.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1998 repealed artificial competitive barriers erected 65 years earlier by the Glass-Steagall Act. It authorized the creation of financial holding companies that could house banks, insurance companies, and securities underwriters under the same corporate roof.

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