WASHINGTON — Four key senators  introduced a bill Thursday that would effectively reinstate a Depression-era law that separated the investment and commercial sides of U.S. banks.

The bill, coined as a 21st-century Glass-Steagall Act, would bring back the original intent of the  previous law, which separated a bank's traditional activities (like deposits that are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) from riskier activities like investment banking, insurance, swap dealing, and hedge funds. The law was repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999.

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