1- Corporate executive pay. You know what this is. It's when the corporate warlords skim the coffers and enrich themselves more per hour [after taxes] than most people make in an entire year [before taxes]. Yet there seems no rational tie-in between good performance and percentage of take for the execs or - in some cases - former execs [e.g Merrill Lynch's Stanley O'Neal, Countrywide Financial's Angelo Mozilo, Citigroup's CEO Charles Prince, Exxon-Mobil's Lee Raymond or GE Corporation's Jack Welch] - to name but a few.A curious artifact of jurisprudential history is that, during the last Robber Baron era [the late 1800s early 20th century] the US Supreme Court allowed for corporations to be treated as if corporations were individuals. That act of class-conscious hubris still allows for financial gang bosses [read: investment bankers, hedge-fund managers, insurance execs and stock brokerage poobahs] to run roughshod over the rest of the world's citizenry, walk away from irresponsible and sometimes irreparably damaging effects on individuals around the planet.
2- The financial travails caused by irresponsible lending practices of corporate entities - from the panic at Bear Stearns, to downturns at Merrill Lynch, to moves at Swiss bank giant UBS [where the CEO Marcel Ospel was forced to resign];
3- Massive mortgage foreclosures by millions of ordinary borrowers with incomes of $75,000 [usd] or less that are tied to usurious interest payment hikes
"... Congress was concerned that commercial banks in general and member banks of the Federal Reserve System in particular had both aggravated and been damaged by stock market decline partly because of their direct and indirect involvement in the trading and ownership of speculative securities.
The legislative history of the Glass-Steagall Act shows that Congress also had in mind and repeatedly focused on the more subtle hazards that arise when a commercial bank goes beyond the business of acting as fiduciary or managing agent and enters the investment banking business either directly or by establishing an affiliate to hold and sell particular investments."