On the Senate floor today, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) reproached his own party for its financial reform bill, saying that if they don’t strengthen “too big to fail” provisions and better regulate credit default swaps, particularly by banning a huge class of them, “then shame on us. We have a responsibility here.”
He added that if Democrats don’t fix these problems, “we cannot claim ever that we have done something about this system.”Sen. Dorgan (D-ND), who is retiring this year, was introducing an amendment to ban naked credit default swaps. But he also addressed some of the other larger holes he sees in the financial reform bill.
Breaking up banks that are “too big to fail,” he said, is one of those things that is “not yet done.”
“I know we had one vote and we failed, unfortunately,” he said, adding that “it’s not about saying ‘big is bad.’ It is about saying that ‘no fault’ capitalism doesn’t work if you allow financial institutions to become so large that their failure can bring down this country’s economy.”
“If we don’t do something about that,” said Dorgan, “we cannot claim ever that we have done something about this system.” But, he said, “it appears to me we are not on the way to fixing that.”
He continued that the same goes for credit default swaps, and that the Senate needs to “put a dagger in the heart of that kind of intense speculation.”
“If we don’t fix” the bill, said Dorgan, “and we leave this chamber and this Congress and claim to have fixed it and have not done it, then shame on us. We have a responsibility here.”