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Senate Proceeding on Apr 28th, 2010 :: 9:28:55 to 9:48:19
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Barbara Boxer

9:28:49 to 9:29:09( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: quorum call: mrs. boxer: mr. president, i ask that t dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president, what is the order the presiding officer: in morning business, senators are able to speak up to ten minutes each. mrs. boxer: okay. i would ask that i b speak for as much time as i might consume. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president, thank

Barbara Boxer

9:28:55 to 9:48:19( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer

9:29:10 to 9:29:30( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: you very much. this is good news that we just received that our republican colleagues have decided to allow us to proceed to the debate on the wall street reform bill.

Barbara Boxer

9:29:31 to 9:29:51( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: i was, frankly, confused as to why they were objecting. but in any event, without going through that, i'm just very pleased that they have backed down in terms of their objection, because we want to get to this bill and many of us have ways that we feel it can be made stronger. i bet there will be some

Barbara Boxer

9:29:52 to 9:30:14( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: amendments to make it weaker, and that's what the process is all about. the most important thing for the american people to know tonight is that an issue of critical importance is moving forward in the united states senate. and i think it's important for us to rember the real reasons

Barbara Boxer

9:30:15 to 9:30:35( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: as to why we are taking up this bill. and even though it is painful, mr. president, to review the dark times of 2008 when the -- our economy and the world economy was really on the brink, i think it's important for us to do that review. and i asked my staff fought

Barbara Boxer

9:30:36 to 9:31:00( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: together some of the headlines from those days. and we're going to go through a couple of charts. and i'll read a few of them. because we need we need to rember what it was like in those dark moments in our -- in our history. here's a pture of a wall

Barbara Boxer

9:31:01 to 9:31:25( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: street trader and he is under a headline that says, "black monday." it was at a moment when the first bailout went down in the house. it says, "bailout fails. stock drop most in history." and then you look at this one,

Barbara Boxer

9:31:26 to 9:31:49( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: "where do we gorom here?" "nasdaq in biggest fall since dot-com." "time" magazine, "wall street's latest downfall, madoff charged with fraud."

Barbara Boxer

9:31:50 to 9:32:10( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: "the bailout to end all bailouts bailouts." "credit crunch continues." "u.s. sentiment decrease to a 28-year low." "u.s. loses 23,000 jobs in the biggest drop since so that's one chart, and i have

Barbara Boxer

9:32:11 to 9:32:32( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: one other. if you can -- just to remind us we're were. "san jose mercury news " -- "foreclosure fights to protect neighborhoods."

Barbara Boxer

9:32:33 to 9:32:54( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: "carnage continues 524,000 jobs lost." "wall street employees set to get $145 billion." that's in bonuses during all of this. "economy in crisis, foreclosure." "layman files for bankruptcy."

Barbara Boxer

9:32:55 to 9:33:18( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: "a.i.g. seeks cash." we know about that. "what now?" is the headline. "what now" "dow falls 777." "u.s. pension insurer lost billions in the market." "housing prices take biggest

Barbara Boxer

9:33:19 to 9:33:39( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: dive since 1991." and here's one. "full of doubt, u.s. shoppers cut spending." now, i read these headlines to you, mr. president, to just bring back those dark, dark, dark days. and why we're here today tryin

Barbara Boxer

9:33:40 to 9:34:03( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: to make sure that never happens again. if you don't learn from history, you are doomed to treept. and we have learned and we are ready to make sure that this never happens again. now, tho dark times came because we allowed wall street

Barbara Boxer

9:34:04 to 9:34:25( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: to engage in unregulated and unsupervised gambling. unregulated and unsupervised gambling. now, i have to say that i'm an economics major that goes back quite a bit d many, many, many years ago, mr. president, before any of these kind of exotic instruments

Barbara Boxer

9:34:26 to 9:34:47( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: were created, i worked on wall street as a stockbroker. and i can tell you that every time the president of the united states would sneeze, the market went down a few points, i worried. i can just about imagine how i would have felt if i would have

Barbara Boxer

9:34:48 to 9:35:09( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: had clients in this kind of situation where there was no control. a shadow banking system grewup that fueled an unsustainable housing bubble. from 2001 to 2007, the issuance

Barbara Boxer

9:35:10 to 9:35:32( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: of toxic private mortgage-backed securities increased by 400%. these securities were rated by the credit rating agencies. the credit rating agencies who are supposed to be the tlers of truth. they're supposed to say to the consumer, uh-oh -- i sounded like my grandchild here, who

Barbara Boxer

9:35:33 to 9:35:54( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: says, uh-oh, who say, don't buy those securities because they're really no good. but these credit agencies, rating agencies such as moody's and standard & poors, frankly, they acted like they were in the pocket of the insurers. in other words, they gave you a good answer. if you wanted issue securities,

Barbara Boxer

9:35:55 to 9:36:15( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: i don't care whether it's goldman or anybody else, you go to these felws, you pay them and they tell you something good. what went that's a disaster. where's the fiduciary responsibility in any of these relationship mr. president? the unregulated over the counter

Barbara Boxer

9:36:16 to 9:36:38( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: derivatives market also grew by over 400% to a value greater, list, than the entire u.s. economy. mr. president, the unreguled over-the-counter derivatives, that market drew by over 400% to a value greater than the entire

Barbara Boxer

9:36:39 to 9:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: united states economy. wall street institutions critical to our economy purposely -- purposely created complex paper instruments that had no real value. no real value. we see in these hearings that senator levin is holding.

Barbara Boxer

9:37:01 to 9:37:22( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: we see what happened. -- what happened when one company, goldman, knew -- and i can't use the words they used because it would be improper on the floor. they knew a product they were selling was just plain junk and they sold it to their customers.

Barbara Boxer

9:37:23 to 9:37:43( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: to their clients. i mean, one of -- one of the people said there in an e-mail, "wow, and widows that we're hurting." that sounds to me like the exxon scandal, we had the same -- enron scandal.

Barbara Boxer

9:37:44 to 9:38:04( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: sorry, mr. president. the enron scandal where we had traders doing the same thing when energy prices went through the roof. well, in 2007 and in the first part of 2008, the house of cards began to collapse because

Barbara Boxer

9:38:05 to 9:38:26( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: backing up these instruments that wall street created were these exotic loans that consumers could never repay unless housing prices continued to soar to unrealistic levels. so they -- they -- they created these instruments that were backed by these mortgages that were doomed to fail unless the

Barbara Boxer

9:38:27 to 9:38:48( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: economy continued to shoot like a star straight-up in the housing -- and the housing market went up. well, the housing bubble began to deflate and think about all these derivatives and all these exotic securities that were based on housing. mortgage lenders and financial institutions began to fail.

Barbara Boxer

9:38:49 to 9:39:10( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: first countrywide, then bear stearns, the federal reserve had to intervene behind-the-scenes remember, in a capitalistic society in our economy, you have to have credit flowing. credit, that's what the small businesses need. that's what governments need.

Barbara Boxer

9:39:11 to 9:39:32( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: overnight credit, state of california couldn't even get overnight credit. and the crisis hit. the worst crisis hit in september 2008, the worst since the 1929 greatepression. listen to this, m president.

Barbara Boxer

9:39:33 to 9:39:53( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: over just three days, mr. president, september 13th, 14th, and 15th, three major financial institutions failed, layman, a.i.g., and merrill lynch. oh, my god. the shock in the country. regulators were unprepared. they had no warning.

Barbara Boxer

9:39:54 to 9:40:15( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: panic spread from this wall street debacle as banks lost confidence in the solvency of the financial system and they refused to lend. credit was frozen. consumers start to withdraw their money from failing money market funds. and some of them found out -- am i right on this -- that they

Barbara Boxer

9:40:16 to 9:40:36( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: weren't insured by the money markets. we had to actually create insurance. the stock market dropped 25% in september alone, mr. president. part of a larger 50% drop from 2008 to 2009. trillions of dollars in pensions and savings wealth were lost.

Barbara Boxer

9:40:37 to 9:40:58( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: without the tools to handle the cris, the bush administration was forced to approach us for direct taxpayer assistance. and i will never forget the day when a republican treasury secretary, hank paulson, looked me in the eye and all my colleagues and said, capitalism was on the brink of collapse and i -- and i will tell you, mr.

Barbara Boxer

9:40:59 to 9:41:19( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: president, i asked him a number of questions that day about the role that credit default swaps played in this and derivatives. an to be totally candid with you, he just -- he just didn't have an answer. he just was so concerned about saving off this -- staving off

Barbara Boxer

9:41:20 to 9:41:43( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: this collapse. now, it was too late -- it was too late to stop wall street's cris from impacting our -- the rest of our economy. business lending plummeted. now, i know that you know this, mr. president. businesses -- small businesses have created 64% of all the new

Barbara Boxer

9:41:44 to 9:42:06( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: jobs in the last 15 years. and when those good, strong businesses couldn't get credit, some of them just couldn't keep the doors open. and i can tell you none of them expanded. they couldn't. they didn't have the capital. retail spending fell by 14%

Barbara Boxer

9:42:07 to 9:42:29( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: driveny historic declines in consumer confidence. and because consumer spending accounts for 70% of our economy, this was another disaster on another disaster on another disaster. as the recession fueled by the financial crisis spread, job losses exploded to 750,000 a month.

Barbara Boxer

9:42:30 to 9:42:51( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: the highest ever recorded. some 8.4 million jobs were lost in 2008 and 2009. and in my own home state of california almost one out of every 10 jobs was lost. one out of every 10 jobs. now, to put a human face on that, think about those families in that situation. where not only did they lose a

Barbara Boxer

9:42:52 to 9:43:13( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: lot of their net worth in the stock market, which was going down, down, down, but they were losing the value and then they lost their job and it exacerbated the problem. unemployment rose above 10% for the first time in 28 years in my -- 28 years.

Barbara Boxer

9:43:14 to 9:43:34( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: in my state it is over 12% today even though we're jobs in california and across the country, faster -- fast enough pace as people come into the job market. we had a situation where almost one out of every five americans who wanted to work was underemployed. now, i don't see how anyone who knows this history -- and all

Barbara Boxer

9:43:35 to 9:43:56( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: you had to do was wake up and read the paper. or if you didn't do, that put on the tv or if you didn't do that, look at your internet or if you didn't do that, listen to the radio and if you were really without all of that, y could have listened to what we were debating here, which there probably was not too many people doing that.

Barbara Boxer

9:43:57 to 9:44:18( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: but the fact is, how could we ever for one second deny the need for the dodd bill, which reflects the president's wall street reform bill? even for a minute. i can't imagine anyone living through this crisis could ever doubt the need to do the bill

Barbara Boxer

9:44:19 to 9:44:39( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: that we, thank goodness, are on right now. the bill directly addresses the problem that led to the crisis. it gives regulators the tools they need to prevent the crisis in the future without ever turning to taxpayers. now i'm going to just quickly go through the provisions of the

Barbara Boxer

9:44:40 to 9:45:00( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: dodd bill. and, by the way, i'm going to go through six provisions. first, the bill ends taxpayer bailouts. the bill guarantees that taxpayers will never again be forced to bailout wall street firms. failing companies will be liquidated and any losses will

Barbara Boxer

9:45:01 to 9:45:22( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: be absorbed by the companies in the financial sector, not taxpayers. that's in the dodd bill. and by the way, when i heard my colleagues on the other side say they didn't think this is true, i went up to senator dodd and i talked to the administration, i said you know what? i'm going to offer an amendment that says this in plain english.

Barbara Boxer

9:45:23 to 9:45:43( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: will you accept the amendment? and they did. and we're going to have that amendment accepted. so that no one -- if anyone ever says toou this bill is about giving more taxpayer funds to bail out wall street, you just say excuse me, you're looking at the wrong bill. second, it puts a cop on the beat for consumers.

Barbara Boxer

9:45:44 to 9:46:04( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: the bill creates the consumer financial protection bureau, which will have the sole job of protecting the american consumers from the kind of deceptive and abusive financial practices that fueled the cris. and they also will be looking out for credit cards and other kinds of things. we will finally have disclosure in these dark markets.

Barbara Boxer

9:46:05 to 9:46:28( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: remember, i talked about these toxic assets, these assets that were made up of slices of mortgages, many of which were -- had no value? they were in the dark. now, these dark markets are over. derivatives markets will be open, and the shadow banking system will be over. over.

Barbara Boxer

9:46:29 to 9:46:50( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: no transparency, openness, and the rest that goes with it. here bill does. it curbs risky behavior on wall street because it says essentially no more gambling. there are going to be strict new capital and borrowing requirements so that you can't

Barbara Boxer

9:46:51 to 9:47:12( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: just go out and superleverage. you have to be able to have some balance in your bank. there will be an early warning system to prevent a future cris. a financial stability oversight council t focus on problems before they lead to a crisis. and as a last resort, the regulators can break up a

Barbara Boxer

9:47:13 to 9:47:33( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: company that is too big to fail. too big to fail is over. and if anyone tells you it's not over, they haven't read the bill because this bill completely says, clearly says that if a company is too big to fl, the regulators can break it up. we will see protection against

Barbara Boxer

9:47:34 to 9:47:55( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: security market scams. the bill mandates management improvements and increased funding for the s.e.c. so that a new office in s.e.c. will be created to look at the credit rating agencies -- rember, i mentioned that. the credit rating agencies were just giving aa, a ratings to junk.

Barbara Boxer

9:47:56 to 9:48:16( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: no more. they will have someone looking over their shoulders, and that's very, very i want to put back the -- the headlines. so clearly, this bill does what we need to do. the bill stops taxpayer bailouts, and if ever there was

Barbara Boxer

9:48:17 to 9:48:21( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Boxer: a time when we could agree on one thing, it would be that.

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