Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One Dude Who Knew What He Was Talking About

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) looks like a freaking claravoyant when you read this quote (H/T Upper Arlington Progressive Action)

Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota,made this prediction in 1999 in a NYTimes article is titled, "Congress Passes Wide-Ranging Bill Easing Bank Laws" about the repeal of Glass-Steagall a Depression-Era law to separate bankers and brokers:

"I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930's is true in 2010. I wasn't around during the 1930's or the debate over Glass-Steagall. But I was here in the early 1980's when it was decided to allow the expansion of savings and loans. We have now decided in the name of modernization to forget the lessons of the past, of safety and of soundness,"

- Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, November 5, 1999.

Byron was one of only 8 Senators to vote against the bill. He was joined by six Democrats: Barbara Boxer of California, Richard H. Bryan of Nevada, Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, and Paul Wellstone, and one Republican Senator, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama,

Senator Paul Wellstone, Democrat of Minnesota, said that Congress had ''seemed determined to unlearn the lessons from our past mistakes.''

''Scores of banks failed in the Great Depression as a result of unsound banking practices, and their failure only deepened the crisis,'' Mr. Wellstone said. ''Glass-Steagall was intended to protect our financial system by insulating commercial banking from other forms of risk. It was one of several stabilizers designed to keep a similar tragedy from recurring. Now Congress is about to repeal that economic stabilizer without putting any comparable safeguard in its place.''


Madrigal Maniac said...

That's amazing. Thanks for posting it. I'm still upset with Clinton for signing the bill. The vote was along party lines and the Republican's didn't have a veto proof margin. However, Clinton bucked his own party and signed it anyway.

JDewey said...


Anonymous said...

The vote wasn't along party lines. The article itself says only 8 senators voted against the bill.

Madrigal Maniac said...


Thanks for the correction. The original vote on the senate bill was 54 to 44 along party lines. After the differences between the senate and house bills were resolved the final vote was 90 to 8. My bad. I'm still not happy Clinton signed the thing.