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GOP platform pushes for big-bank breakup, return of Glass-Steagall

Wall Street, dark, reflection
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Republican Party is going after the big banks.

As the GOP convention gets under way in Cleveland, a top adviser to presumptive nominee Donald Trump said the party wants to revive the Glass-Steagall Act, Depression-era legislation that helped prevent big bank "supermarkets" but which was repealed in 1999.

Critics of the banking industry believe the repeal created too-big-to-fail institutions that required a massive government bailout when the financial crisis exploded in 2008. The repeal often is cited as a cause of the crisis, even though two of the investment banks at the core of the crisis, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, were unaffected by the act's prohibition of combining investment and commercial banks.

"We believe the Obama-Clinton years have passed legislation that has been favorable to the big banks, which is why you see all the Wall Street money going to her," Trump campaign manger Paul Manafort told reporters, according to an account in The Hill. "We are supporting the small banks and Main Street."

Manafort said the reintroduction of Glass-Steagall will be included in the party platform. Democrats likely will follow suit.

Trump also has been critical of other banking reform measures like the Dodd-Frank law.

Wall Street has targeted much greater campaign funds to Trumps' opponent, Hillary Clinton, who has received $32.5 million from the securities and investment industry, according to Open Secrets.