One of the many New Deal reforms enacted to help prevent another Great Depression was a requirement that the financial industry keep its commercial investment activities separate from its basic depository and lending activities so as to prevent the risks of the former from jeopardizing the latter. Congress, unfortunately, repealed that law (known as "Glass-Steagall," after its authors) in 1999. Less than ten years later, the economy was in crisis again.
This week, in an encouraging development, a bipartisan group of senators has proposed that Congress reinstate the crucial safeguards of Glass-Steagall. The Hill has the story; Public Citizen has this laudatory press release.