Pat Toomey & Derivatives

Pat Toomey worked on Wall Street before serving in Congress.  Those are indisputable facts.  While in DC he was one of Wall Street’s biggest lapdogs.  FactCheck.org is taking Democrats to task for a commercial airing which ties Toomey to Wall Street deregulation and a defense of derivatives.  This archived CSPAN video however shows Congressman Toomey on the House floor supporting the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.  Without that legislation sponsored by Sen. Phil Gramm we likely wouldn’t have had the housing bubble and worldwide economic crash which was fueled by unregulated derivatives and credit swaps.  The text of his comments:

00:39:30 I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THIS RULE AND THE LEGISLATION.

00:39:35 THE MODERNIZATION ACT IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT FINANCIAL LEGISLATION TO COME BEFORE CONGRESS SINCE THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT MANDATED THE SEPARATION BETWEEN BANKING AND THE SECURITIES INDUSTRY IN 1933.

00:39:50 TODAY, THERE’S VIRTUALLY UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT AMONG ECONOMISTS, ACADEMICS, POLICY MAKERS AND MORE IMPORTANTLY THE MEN AND WOMEN CREATING AND PROVIDING FINANCIAL SERVICES ACROSS AMERICA TODAY THAT REPEAL OF GLASS-STEAGALL IS NECESSARY SO CONSUMERS CAN GET THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES THEY DESIRED AND AMERICAN FINANCIAL FIRMS CAN COMPETE IN THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE.

00:40:12 I’D LIKE TO — I’D LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT ONE PART OF THIS SWEEPING LEGISLATION.

00:40:17 I’M PARTICULARLY PLEASED THIS BILL INCLUDES AN IMPORTANT PROVISION CONCERNING CREDIT AND EQUITY SWAPS.

00:40:23 THESE SOMEWHAT OBSCURE PRODUCTS ARE ACTUALLY VERY IMPORTANT TOOLS USED BY BUSINESS, INCLUDING FINANCIAL SERVICE FIRMS, TO MANAGE A VARIETY OF RISKS THEY FACE.

00:40:32 THIS BILL REAFFIRMS THAT SWAPS CONTRACTS ARE LEGITIMATE BANK PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE EXECUTED AND BOOKED IN BANKS AND ARE ADEQUATELY REGULATED BY AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE REGULATED BY BANKING SUPERVISORS.

00:40:45 I’D ALSO LIKE TO CONGRATULATE THE MANY MEMBERS OF THIS CHAMBER WHO WORKED VERY HARD ON FINANCIAL MODERNIZATION, IN PARTICULAR I’D LIKE TO SALUTE CHAIRMAN LEECH AND RANKING MEMBER LAFALCE FOR THE OUTSTANDING WORK THEY’VE DONE TO SEE THIS LEGISLATION THROUGH TO COMPLETION.

00:41:01 I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE RULE AND PASSAGE OF THIS TIME.

Sestak Hits Specter on Economic Votes

The problem with switching parties after 29 years is that all those votes come back to haunt you and Joe Sestak is hanging Arlen Specter with his Republican voting record in the U.S. Senate.  Darlin’ Arlen was Snarlin’ Arlen towards Democratic legislation before switching parties a year ago today.  The Republican alliance with Wall Street versus Main Street is nothing new and Specter voted for the laws which aided in deregulating the financial industry and which crashed our economy:

“As we emerge from the brink of economic collapse, we must restore the market safeguards that were dismantled as Arlen Specter supported the failure of oversight, accountability and transparency that permitted the Wall Street excesses that led us into this crisis.

“Now, with the Senate unable to repair the damage done by Specter and his Republican colleagues, the Senator is doing everything he can to divert attention from his record of:

   * Voting to remove important safeguards, such as the Glass-Steagall Act, which would have protected Americans’ savings from financial collapse by maintaining a wall between investment and consumer banks.

   * Casting a critical vote to pass the Enron Loophole and to exclude derivatives from regulatory oversight. [HR 4577, 6/30/00]

   * Voting against “cramdowns,” stripping a key provision from the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act that would have saved homes by empowering bankruptcy judges to reduce principal and interest rates for homeowners in bankruptcy [SAMDT 1014, 04/30/09]

   * Having, under his watch, Philadelphia lose employment to the point that the city now has fewer jobs than any other time in modern history.

“Arlen’s former Republican colleagues are now busy filibustering this necessary financial reform bill, and he is doing absolutely nothing to stop this. That is why today I am urging Arlen Specter to call on his colleagues to support this common sense financial reform to protect the savings of hardworking Americans.”

Congressman Sestak will note the anniversary of Specter’s big switch tonight in Washington with what he calls “a major speech.”  He intends to illustrate how his life and values shaped his political ideology as compared with the way the incumbent’s political opportunism shaped his.  Former White House National Security Council adviser Richard Clarke will introduce the Congressman.