You are not connected. Please login or register

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1 the Senator who saw this coming on Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:39 am


The Senator Who Saw This Coming
By Eric Adelson | NEWSWEEK
Published Apr 4, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Apr 13, 2009

Future historians rummaging through the archives of the Washington Monthly might stumble upon a chilling article about a coming "financial conflagration [E]very taxpayer in the country is on the line." The author was not some alarmist wacko, but a U.S. senator. And the year was not 2007, or even 2001. North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan expressed his fear of "exotic new derivatives called 'swaps' " way back in 1994. Five years later, when Congress passed legislation lowering the barriers between brokerages and banks, Dorgan told The New York Times, "I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this. " It's been 10 years, and Dorgan was dead-on. He spoke to Eric Adelson while visiting flood victims in his home state.

How did you see this coming?
I saw the development of these complicated financial instruments and it occurred to me that it's an unbelievable amount of risk. I introduced several pieces of legislation to regulate it, but my warnings were widely ignored.

I guess they thought I was old-fashioned. The financial establishment had no interest in slowing down the march toward modernization. But the firewalls were made of tissue paper.

What was it like watching your fears realized?
It makes you sick. I felt strongly that if the banks want to gamble, go to Las Vegas. There's very little solace in being right, given the carnage. This is one of the most expensive lessons in American history.

What are you calling for now?
There needs to be a select committee of the U.S. Senate. We need to know what has happened here. I don't think anyone has established a narrative. We also need to restore a portion of the separation [between the banks and the brokers]. The securitization of credit has to be dramatically changed or abolished.

How are these ideas being received?
I requested a meeting with the president last week, and I put together a group of six other senators to join me. We presented him with what we thought was necessary financial reform.

I remain worried that modernization can't put a patch on things. There's a culture that's been developed on Wall Street and in Washington that what was done was a worthwhile thing because we were competing. We all want healthy banks. That's important. But what has happened is the big companies have spun out of control, like hogs in a corn crib.

One of the proponents of the change in regulations was then Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, who's now Obama's Director of Economic Council. How confident are you that real reform can happen with Summers by the president's side?
[Pause] I offered the president my advice about financial advisers early on. I'll leave it at that.

2 And guess who forced that enabling law? on Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:50 pm


(CNN Money news) However, Dodd also played a crucial role in the 1999 passage of the deregulatory Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which dismantled key provisions of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, breaking down barriers among commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies. In fact, according to Ed Yingling, head of the American Bankers Association, Dodd was the bill's unsung hero. "It was about to die," says Yingling, "because [former Republican senator] Phil Gramm, on a side issue, was just hardballing it. There were seven or eight of us who were chief lobbyists for the industries. What we were saying was, 'We're running out of time. If we can get Chris Dodd in the room, we can work it out.'" They got Dodd, and Dodd got it done, but Dodd doesn't like to talk about it anymore. Not when he's trying to rebuild vital parts of the same regulatory framework he helped knock down. "I regret we didn't pay more attention to this at the time," he admits. "We're not going to go back and rewrite that. We want to be able to have those kinds of efficiencies in the system. But clearly the division between commerce and banking - that needs to be a bright line."

All his career, Dodd has had to finesse close ties to the very industries and individuals he oversees. His reputation, says Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies Congress, is that he has "listened very carefully to the views of both Greenwich, Conn., where the hedge funds are located, and the insurance industry in Hartford." Which maybe isn't surprising, given that nearly a third of the $43 million Dodd has raised for his campaigns over the past 20 years came from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector, according to Among the big donors on Dodd's list: PACs and persons associated with Citigroup and AIG, as well as alleged Ponzi schemer Alan Stanford. "I've never cast a vote, taken a position, based on someone's contribution," Dodd insists. He donated the Stanford money to charity and says he will refuse money from PACs associated with TARP recipients. Unlike Barney Frank, however, Dodd will continue to accept campaign contributions from top executives at most TARP firms, just not AIG...." ((Now we know why he did it. Bribes. And he is going to "fix" the regulations he destroyed? And Summers, head of the Treas. at the time and a STRONG supporter of deregulation, is Obama's financial advisor? And Geithner,who refused to pay his taxes, is the new head of the Treas.? A corrupt politician, a dumbass, and a tax cheat? Oh, and let's not forget, there would have been no demand for the questionable instruments if Barney Frank had not ordered Fannie and Freddie to give money away to unqualified borrowers. How can lenders write loans and make money when they are competing against a quasi-governmental org. determined to go bankrupt? Oh, I forgot, this is all George Bush's fault. Bush and those "greedy Repukes". Except none of these guys, the guys who are directly at fault for the economic meltdown, are Republicans. None. We must commend Dorgan for his insight and honesty. Let's hope Pelosi and the machine don't ruin his chances of being elected. Honest Democratic politicians are hard to come by these days.))

3 more on corrupt on Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:51 pm



Republicans Beat Democrats 17 To 3:- Top 20 Corrupt Congressmen

Posted November 3, 2006 | 01:42 PM (EST)
Read More: H. L. Mencken, Conrad Burns, Alan Mollohan, Jerry Lewis, Bob Ney, William (Prince)2, John Murtha, Dennis Hastert, Jack Abramoff , Breaking Politics News

stumbleupon :Republicans Beat Democrats 17 To 3:- Top 20 Corrupt Congressmen digg: Republicans Beat Democrats 17 To 3:- Top 20 Corrupt Congressmen reddit: Republicans Beat Democrats 17 To 3:- Top 20 Corrupt Congressmen Republicans Beat Democrats 17 To 3:- Top 20 Corrupt Congressmen

A recently published Rogues Gallery of the top 20 most corrupt members of Congress has Republicans winning by a landslide.

Not that congressional corruption is news. It's always been clear that Congress consists of one-third scoundrels and crooks; two-thirds idiots; and three-thirds "poltroons" (cowards), with a nod to H.L. Mencken.


But as I contemplate my upcoming trip to the polls, I reviewed an interesting list of the twenty most corrupt members of Congress. While I think sometimes there are important national issues to consider - that in certain cases might excuse a little corruption or influence peddling - this fine inventory of rogues (compiled by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)) is an entertaining document to use as a starting point.

I was surprised that this non-partisan roster is so lopsidedly Republican by a margin of 17 Republicans to 3 Democrats. Republicans used to be the party of sobriety, family values, and honesty, while big city scallywag Democrats used to excel at milking the system financially and politically for all it was worth. The scoundrels seem to have changed party affiliation in recent years. Republicans have gotten a lot craftier, as evidenced by their skill at hijacking the last two close presidential elections.

Three of last year's former winners have already entered a "Hall of Fame" - Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) is now serving an eight-year jail term for bribery, Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) has agreed to plead guilty to crimes that will likely result in a minimum two-year prison term, and former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has been indicted in Texas and is facing possible federal indictment in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

But some top names are still around: Reps. William ($90,000) Jefferson (D-LA), Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), as well as Sens. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Bill Frist (R-TN) who are now under federal investigation.

Five wannabes to watch, who just missed making the final cut, but nevertheless earned a "Dishonorable Mention" include such big names as Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), who was the only Democrat, as contrasted with four Republicans.

Little wonder that disdain for Congress is at its highest level since 1994 when Republicans captured 52 seats to end 40 years of Democratic control of the House and retook the Senate as well.

Only 16-25% of Americans approve of Congress, according to recent CNN - NYT/CBS polls. Respondents say that members of Congress are too tied to special interests. No kidding!

As Norman J. Ornstein, a conservative, said earlier this week at a Washington Forum, "Who are these 16 percent? And What Meds are they on?"

Top 20 Most Corrupt - The lineup with links to backup documentation of unethical behavior:

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN)
Rep. Rick Santorum (R-PA)
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)
Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL)
Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA)
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV)
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO)
Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA)
Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY)
Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA)

Dishonorable Mentions:

Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT)
Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA)

4 Re: the Senator who saw this coming on Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:31 pm


You can x-off Jefferson from your 2006 article, he lost the election in 2009 and is headed to jail.

5 Re: the Senator who saw this coming on Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:45 pm


The thread was "the Senator who saw this coming" was it not? Never mind. We know.

6 Re: the Senator who saw this coming on Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:40 pm


I hear ya Moon I think this topic is on at least 2 boards...DUHHHHHHHHHH

Sponsored content

View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum