Tom Usher in reply to CMLJD88:
Had Glass-Steagall not been repealed, that would mean that the shortsighted, deregulation mind-set that repealed it would not have been in power to repeal it. Most, if not all, of the other sorts of deregulation and anti-regulation things that happened would also not have happened. The "Investment Houses," as they were called, would not have been allowed to do all of the unregulated securitization schemes that definitely led to the crash. Alan Greenspan probably wouldn't have been Chairman of the Fed hugely messing up the job regulating things, including interest rates.
Even if all of that were not the case, taxpayers wouldn't have been on the hook for the "Investment Houses" unless we wanted to be through our elected representatives and the administration.
The whole thing could still have been handled in a way where the investors and speculators would have taken the hits and not the general population through government taxes. That said, the government is recovering the taxpayers' money, though that will never make up for the pain and suffering, etc., caused by the hyper-greedy deregulators.
Emergency legislation could certainly have allowed government to take over and unwind things however it/we deemed best at the time. Unfortunately, the people who caused the problems were left in charge.
BTW, the government allowed Goldman to sidestep the usual requirements to become a commercial bank.