"Fusing banking with inherently risky speculative activity is, in my judgment, unwise... We will, in ten years time, look back and say we should not have done that." Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota was one of few opponents of the the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act—a 1933 act that separated investment and commercial banking with the aim of preventing another Great Depression.
Nine years after Dorgan's comment, the American economy entered a crisis. Soon, though, corporate profits bounced back to their pre-crisis levels—but the wages of ordinary Americans still haven't. That split helped birth the Occupy movement, calling out the failure of an economic system that benefits a small minority at the expense of everyone else.
How did a small protest in lower Manhattan go viral? With more than 50 cities involved, #OccupyWallStreet is already changing the debate.
By the calendar it’s autumn, but for many it is the beginning of the American Spring.