Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Kaufman: Failure to Pass Amendment Is Defeat For Those Concerned About Financial Concentration in This Country

May 6, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) released the following statement after the Senate voted down the Brown-Kaufman amendment to Wall Street reform legislation, 33-61.

“I am disappointed. This is certainly a defeat for those who are concerned about the dangers of financial concentration in this country.  
 
“On the other hand, against the odds and starting from nowhere, I am proud that Senator Sherrod Brown and I helped to start a nationwide debate on the need to break up ‘too big to fail’ banks and succeeded in getting a vote on our amendment.
 
“The debate on the floor and around the country was not short – it lasted for weeks.  In the last month, this proposal and debate was met with favorable reaction from many respected policymakers, economists and former regulators.  I believe this idea was sound policy – and I further believe that a mainstream consensus will continue to grow that these megabanks are too large, too complex and too internally conflicted to regulate successfully.
 
“Some causes are worth fighting for, and for me, the concern about the risks ‘too big to fail’ banks pose to the American economy and people is deep and profound given the economic tragedy millions of American have endured.  I believe the debate itself – though failing to gain a majority of votes – has helped to change attitudes about the degree of financial concentration and power these megabanks now represent.  Going forward, I hope the Congress will work to strengthen the bill’s ban on proprietary trading by banks.  And I hope that regulators will understand that they should use their discretion under existing statutory authority to break up megabanks when the financial system is threatened.”

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