DEFINITION of 'Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act '
A law enacted by Congress in 1982 to enable banks and other savings institutions to compete more readily in the money market. It got rid of the interest rate ceiling that they once had to abide by, authorized them to make commercial loans and gave the federal agencies the ability to approve bank acquisitions.
BREAKING DOWN 'Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act '
This act was one of the contributing factors of the Savings and Loan Crisis. The S&L crisis was one of the largest government bailouts in U.S. history costing approximately $124 billion. The bailout came to help the 747 savings and loan associations in the U.S. but failed, partly due to the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act.