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The Structure of the Banking System

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The End of Glass-Steagall

In 1933 President Roosevelt signed the groundbreaking Glass-Steagall act which legally separated the banking industry into commercial banking and investment banking. This law was passed in reaction the Great Depression and big wave of bank failures. Nearly 70 years later, legislation was passed doing away with most key clauses in the Glass-Steagall act.

Read the information in the background material, look for more information, and then write a 2 to 3 pages paper answering the following questions:

Does the repeal of Glass-Steagall have a positive or negative effect on the banking industry? In the course of preparing your paper, be sure to consider the benefits to banks as well as to bank customers in your analysis.

There has been a lot of criticism on the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act and people have started asking the U.S. government to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act. According to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), more than 120 banks have failed in the past two years (from 2007 to 2009), in large part due to the risky investments they have been making, such as mortgage backed securities.

Should the U.S. government bring back the Glass-Steagall Act? Please explain your reasoning in brief.

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The repeal of the Glass Seagall Act of 1993 had a negative impact on the banking industry in the United States of America. This is because it contributed to the collapse of the financial market in 2008-2009. The subsequent boom in the sub-prime market allowed many unqualified institutions invented to line their own pockets with no warning to prospective homeowners. The laws that previously guarded against such wanton practice had vanished. Many unscrupulous agents, brokers and lenders worked together to rake profits while unwitting would be homeowners thought they were getting a piece of the American Dream (The Repeal of the Glass, 2012). Another negative effect is that, conflicts of interests can characterize granting of credit and the use of credit by the same entity or bank which would in turn lead to abuses that were originally in the act. Another thing is that dealing with security activities becomes risky thus leading to huge losses. Such losses could in the long run threaten the integrity of the deposits. As a response to this, the government ensures that there is soundness and competition in the market for funds, whether it is loans or investments. Another thing is that depository is meant to manage or prevent risk. ...

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Organizational structure of the socio-technical system

Write a paper describing how the 'socio' part of the socio-technical system causes the Telebank Call Center to be something other than a perfectly smoothly functioning machine.

The paper should include references and be to the point. You are expected to deal with these issues in an integrated fashion, rather than treating them as a series of individual questions to be answered one by one and left at that. To help guide your thinking, however, you will need to consider issues such as:

The organizational structure at the Telebank Call Center, in terms of traditional categories (see the Cliffâ??s Notes terminology) to what degree can this company appropriately be described as a "machine"?

What are the major components of its technical system? Of its social system? Are there any major features of the organization that you would put outside both the technical and social systems?

What kind of control does management have over the technical system elements? Toward what ends or goals? What are some effects of exercising that control?

What kind of control does management have over the social system elements? Toward what ends or goals? What are some effects of exercising that control?

Are there any interesting interactions between the technical and social systems that affect their management?

All told, is the concept of the organization as a socio-technical machine really beneficial and useful as an organizational metaphor? Why or why not?

You will be particularly assessed on:

Your ability to see the "big picture" is the machine-like aspects of organizations-- and structure your paper accordingly.

Your informed commentary and analysis -- this is as important as your summary of the material in the article -- simply repeating what the article says does not constitute an adequate paper.

Your ability to apply the professional language and terminology of the underlying model -- in this case, socio-technical design correctly and helpfully. However interesting your paper about Telebank, it's not going to be complete unless you also show that you can write about it in socio-technical terms.

Your ability to apply the language of the machine metaphor effectively.

Your effective and appropriate use of in-text citations to the assigned readings and other source material to support your arguments.

Read this article:
Callaghan, G. (2001) Socio-Technical Systems and Call Centres: A Case Study Investigation. ESRC End of Award Report. Retrieved August 14, 2008,

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