Icahn: Bring Back Glass-Steagall

Feb 12 2014 | 11:12am ET

Carl Icahn's outspokenness doesn't usually extend to banking regulation. But the famed investor yesterday expressed support for the cornerstone of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform law—and said he'd like to see it go further.

Icahn said that the U.S. should reinstitute the Glass-Steagall Act, the 1934 law that separated commercial and investment banking. The law was repealed in 1999, and its absence is often blamed for the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

"I am good friends with a lot of bankers," Icahn told Fox Business. "But," he added, "I think the Volcker rule is fine."

The Volcker rule bars banks from proprietary trading and strictly limits their alternative investment activities, as well as limiting liabilities. And, fine though it might be, Icahn would like to see more.

"I think what they should do is go back to Glass-Steagall," he said. "A lot of my friends at these investment banks are going to be real mad at me for saying it, but I really think that was one of the problems in '08."

Icahn declined to be drawn into the debate on bank CEO pay, but he again offered praise for Apple Inc.—just days after abandoning a proxy fight with the company to force it to increase its share buyback program.

"I'm not going anywhere. I'm not leaving," Icahn told Fox. "I haven't sold one share, nor do I intend to. I think Apple is one of the cheapest stocks around and I've said that—Tim Cook and I agree on that. It's very undervalued."


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