This bill is the most important legislation for financial institutions in the last 50 years. It provides a long-term solution for troubled thrift institutions. … All in all, I think we hit the jackpot.
—Ronald Reagan, 1982, on signing into law the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act

The immediate effect of Garn-St. Germain, as I said, was to turn the thrifts from a problem into a catastrophe…the fact is that deregulation in effect gave the industry — whose deposits were federally insured — a license to gamble with taxpayers’ money, at best, or simply to loot it, at worst.
Krugman

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