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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 6, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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responsibility of somebody other than the guy running the company that puts up ads like this. zoom credit. it says "you've been bankrupt, slow credit? no credit? can't pay? who cares." i mean, that's what was advertised to the american people. that wasn't somebody in this chamber going out to say, how about letting us give you a loan if you have bad credit? was it somebody in this chamber that decided we're going to create credit default swaps? that's like saying the devil made me do it, on the old tv shoefplt no, it was a -- old tv show. it was a group of people wearing silk shirts, monogrammed sleeves and they create all these instruments. credit default swaps. credit default swaps wasn't enough. they had to do synthetic naked credit default swaps.
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it was wagering, had nothing to do with investing. it wasn't somebody in this chamber that said to them please do this. the most unbelievable greed and avarice i have ever seen in the history of this country. by a l -- by a lot of folks. i'm not saying everybody did it. i'm saying enough did it to imperil this country's economy, to require emergency action in this country to, as the secretary then said, save the american economy. now, all this was going on, everybody was having a carnival, making lots of money. wall street in 2008 had a net loss of $35 billion and paid bonuses of $17 billion. now, i went -- i got a master's degree in business, i went to business school. there's no place that teaches that. go lose a bunch of money and then pay huge bonuses. this was a carnival of greed that went on in this country and steered this country right into
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a ditch. now, when my colleague says, well, that's government that did that. i'm sorry, that's just flat-out wrong. what government did -- and they did it for a number of years in the last decade -- government hired a bunch, and the previous administration especially is responsible for this, they hired a bunch of regulators who didn't like government and didn't want to regulate, and one of them, one of the key people that came to this town in a key position of regulatory responsibility said, hey, this is a new day, this is a business-friendly place. understand that. we're going to be willfully blind here for a number of years, so do what you want. we won't watch and we don't care. and so the responsibility for regulatory authority is not in this chamber. and i'm not -- i'm not somebody who comes they're blame previous administrations very often. but when the bush administration came to office, about the same time that gramm-leach-bliley, by
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the way, with the support of the clinton administration, repealed glass-steagall and said, you can create big financial holding companies as big as you want and you can -- you can merge investment banks with commercial banks and securities sales and you can do it all. one-stop financial shopping. it will be great and we'll call it modern. and about the time that got passed, over my objections -- i was one of eight senators who voted "no" and i was out here about six, eight times opposing it -- about the time that got passed, we had a new administration come to town to say, oh, by the way, we're going to put regulators in place who have no interest in whachg what do you so -- in watching what to do so do what you want to do. put out naked default swaps. who cares? put out trillions and troil yons and troil yons o trillions out o cares? we'll have a meeting in the basement of the s.e.c. and we
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will, just like that, we'll approve you to be able to increase your leverage to 30 times your capital. and it will hardly be reported by anybody because we're not watching anything. blind regulators. dead blind regulators. unbelievable. and so i -- you know, don't blame this on someone else. we can blame it on bad legislation a decade ago. that's fair. that caused some of this. but those out there that were making bad loans and taking their paycheck to the bank and filling it with millions of dollars, they were doing that because they were greedy and no one was watching and no one was willing to stop them. and that avalanche of greed built into a bubble of speculation that really injured this country and nearly ran it off a cliff. and, by the way, at the same time all of this was happening in the last 15 years or so, the financial institutions decided they're going to securitize everything. it doesn't matter. you find some debt, we got some people that can roll it into a security. and once they roll it into a security, they can sell it
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three, four times, up to an investment bank, to a hedge fund, you name it, and they can get a ratings agency, by the way, because the investment banks pay the costs of the rating agencies that rate their securities. interesting. pretty big conflict of interest. the fact is, they can roll these forward and nobody has any skin in the game. my colleague talks about how unfair it would be to ask somebody to -- to save at least a portion of a loan they're providing. well, you know what? the only way you have proper underwriting of loans anywhere in the country sitting across the table from someone who wants to get a loan and looking in their eyes and looking at their credit reports and determining are they eligible for a loan, should we do this? the only way that you ever assure that that happens the right way is to have that kind of underwriting and called to that if you're going to have some continuing risk. but if you're going to give a $750,000 thrown somebody that makes $-- loan to somebody that makes $17,000 a year -- and it
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happened, by the way, a liar's loan, no-documentation loan with no interest paid and no principal paid because you put it all on the backside. the only way you're going to do that is if you can sell that in a security to somebody else and you have no further risk. you get your money free and clear, and that's what was going on at every single level. the un -- just the most unbelievable irresponsible lack of regulation perhaps in the history of this country. and i just -- i want to say government has made plenty of mistakes, but don't blame this chamber or don't blame people who were elected to the senate for the bad behavior of somebody that takes $200 million away from the biggest mortgage finance company in this country and who is selling liar's loans and advertising that if you have bad credit, no credit, slow credit and bankruptcy, come to us and we're going to give you some money. don't blame that on somebody else. put that blame where it rests. unbelievable greed among people who should have known better.
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and among people who shouldn't have been able to do it in the first place because regulators should have been all over their neck in a moment saying, you can't do it. but that didn't happen and it -- what this demonstrates to me is the need for effective regulation. the need for regulators. the free market system works, but when there are people that try to -- try to subvert it, when there are people that commit fouls in the free market system, it needs a referee with a whistle and a striped shirt and that's what was missing in the last decade. now, mr. president, one final point. it's sort of -- part of this argument is sort of like excusing the criminal behavior because there was not a cop on the beat. don't excuse the criminal behavior. don't excuse it. we need cops on the beat. we need legislation that will make sure we close the loopholes that existed. we need to legislate soberly and thoughtfully here that give the american people some notion that this cannot happen again. and again, by the way, i think the way we do that is to make
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certain that you cannot be too big to fail. by one justification should the major financial companies of this country continue this kind of concentration and escalation of size in a manner that jeopardizes this country should they fail? by what justification should we allow that to continue? the answer is, it should not, and there are two amendments to address it that i'm aware of. one is by senator brown and cough plan, which a -- kaufman, which creates a numerical limit with respect to size and so on. i support that. i believe i've added my name as a cosponsor. the other, which i actually prefer because it has my name, and that is just flat-outbreak up firms that are too big to fail to a point where they are not too big to fail. a much more direct and, in my judgment, the most effective way to do this. now, i came to the floor to speak and i will speak just so ever briefly about the sanders amendment. i just got sidetracked by my colleague from oklahoma, as is so often the case.
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my colleague from vermont has offered a piece of legislation that i think has great merit, and it is -- let me tell you what it doesn't do. it does not, as those who fear the amendment, invoke the tentacles of the united states congress in the construction of monetary policy. that area belongs to the federal reserve board. now, the federal reserve board is a creature of legislation. the congress created the federal reserve board. you go back and read the debate, the country was assured that this was not creating a strong central bank. there were just lead pipe assurances so that but, of course, that turned out not to be the case. nonetheless, the federal reserve board creates monetary policy, and there is a thought -- and i agree with that thought -- we don't want monetary policy created on the floor of the united states senate. we don't want to intrude on the
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creation or the development of monetary policy. we do fiscal policy, the taxing and spending side, which is called fiscal policy. the monetary side, that's the federal reserve board's terrain. but the federal reserve board ought not be unaccountable to anything or to anybody, rather, for anything. the federal reserve board, it seems to me, deserves, number one, to be audited properly, a government accountability office audit, which the sanders amendment would require. and i know the fed is having an apoplectic seizure about now thinking maybe this amendment will pass. but you know what? it is -- it is the right thing to do to say at least, at long, long last, there should be -- at last, at long are long last, there should be an audit of the federal reserve board. i'm not talking about auditing monetary policy. i'm talking about auditing what it does generally. and it's necessary, i support this, i think it's the right policy. number two, this legislation does what i and many others have been pushing the fed for, for
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some while. last july of 2009, i had a letter that was signed by a good many of my colleagues -- i think there were 10 or 11 colleagues that signed the letter to chairman bernanke of the federal reserve board saying you have now used your emergency powers for the first time in the u.s. history to open your loan window to investment banks. never before in the history of our country. serious financial problems, you say. open the loan window and come and get some money. so we write and we say, okay, you did that on an emergency basis, first time in the history of our country. tell us, what was the result? who got the money? what were the terms? what were the conditions? the american people deserve to have that information. we wrote again on march 19 of this year. on both occasions, we received letters from chairman bernanke, polite, certainly, thoughtful but letters that said, do you know what? we don't intend to provide you
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information or the american people information about what happened at our loan window. we don't intend to talk about loans that we gave to investment banks for the first time in history. what i'm wondering is -- and this is just idle curiosity -- did we have investment banks show up at this window at the federal reserve board and get near zero interest rate loans and then invest them back into treasury bonds? how much money did they make joust that transaction? i know that many of these organizations, the largest investment banks are now making record profits, but it's not as a result of loaning money to businesses in this country that need the lending. it's by trading securities. once again, right back in the same trench. but this legislation that my colleague, senator sanders, has offered is legislation that will put in law a requirement that the federal reserve board disclose the activities in a certain period of time of who
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received the lending from the federal reserve board, what the conditions and the amounts of funding was. i know the chairman of the fed said well, this might -- this might make it very difficult, it will undermine this and that, undermine these programs, publicly releasing the names. look, two federal courts have required the federal reserve board to do this. two federal courts, the district court and the circuit court, have said the federal reserve board does not have the authority to withhold this information. and the federal reserve board has now once again said, doesn't matter, we intend to appeal again. they intend, apparently, just to keep this tied up in the court system as long as they can. this amendment in this piece of legislation will say to the federal reserve board, you can't do that. the law requires you to disclose to the american people what you have done. so i -- i've come here to say i think this is a -- a good bill. i had introduced a separate
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amendment on the disclosure by the fed. so if we can pass the -- the sanders amendment, that will take care of my amendment. it's -- some people talked earlier about there's some duplicates here. mine will be taken care of if we pass the larger amendment offered by senator sanders. i support the amendment. i know that a good many of my colleagues will as well, and i think at long last -- it's been a long, long time to try to get an audit of the federal reserve board of the not an audit of monetary policy but an audit of the federal reserve board f. we do that, this will have been -- if we do that, this will have been a very significant step forward for those of us who believe that is necessary and important for the country. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. demint: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. demint: thank you, mr. president. i want to join senator dorgan in supporting the amendment of senator sanders to audit the federal reserve. let me begin with a perspective of what happened with the stock market today.
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clearly someone got it wrong, created a domino effect of one thing falling after another, and before we know it, the stock market was down a thousand dollars -- or a thousand points. fortunately it climbed back up before it closed today. but it just reminds us of how volatile, how vulnerable we are in a world where so many systems are involved with our financial system. it's good that congress is looking at financial reform. i only regret that we're not dealing with the real causes of our financial crisis. wall street is clearly jittery. you could see that from the stock market today. everyone, i think, is waiting for the dominoes to fall. we see what's happening in greece. one country that continued to spend more than it was bringing in until it went bankrupt. and now, unfortunately, the american people are on the hook
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for yet another bailout. not even a bailout in this country. but billions of american tack dollars are headed for degrees right now. as other european countries head towards bankruptcy, last year in this congress, we created another credit line for the international monetary fund to be drawn down. the real irony here is we're borrowing the money from countries like china in order to bail out other countries in the world at a time when the united states is carrying $13 trillion of debt today in -- and projections of tens of trillions more dollars in the future. it's clearly unsustainable. the stock market and investors have a reason to be jittery, and americans have a reason to be angry. we saw what the failure of large government organizations like
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fannie mae did and how it cost americans trillions of dollars. people who had been saving and investing all their lives found out almost overnight that the system they counted on and that we were supposed to oversee was not what they thought it was. and suddenly, wealth was gone. but if fannie mae could do that much damage to our country, that's small in comparison with what could happen if the federal reserve does it wrong. the constitution gives congress the responsibility for our monetary policy. congress years ago delegated that to an independent agency we call the federal reserve, but we're still responsible for monetary policy, and if something is done wrong with that policy, all that we have worked for in this country, everyone's savings and investments and everyone's wealth, not only in this country but because we're the reserve
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currency for the world, the whole economic system of the world is resting on top of what the federal reserve does. and the fact is while it's our responsibility to oversee monetary policy, we don't know what the federal reserve is doing. keep in mind we were sure only months before fannie mae and freddie mac collapsed -- and by the way, we bailed them out, freddie mac, for another $10 billion this week. only months before they collapsed, we were told by chairman bernanke at the federal reserve and many other economic experts that there was no problem, but there was a problem. the real problem was we didn't know it. that was a company created by this congress, and it was our responsibility to oversee it. we did not carry out our responsibility. we need an independent federal
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reserve. we do not need political manipulation and second-guessing of our monetary policy, but we don't need a secret federal reserve. we have to know what they are doing if we're going to be responsible for what they are doing, and it's not going to be enough if they do something wrong that we point our finger at them and say it was their fault, because it is our responsibility. for years, the federal reserve has been avoiding any kind of audit, any kind of accountability, any kind of transparency. every time we ask for some kind of disclosure, they are saying we're violating their independence. we're not violating their independence with this bill proposed by senator sanders. all we're doing is uncloaking the secrecy that executives -- that exists within the federal reserve. it's important to know what we do know. we know the federal reserve has
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bailed out bear stearns, a.i.g., taxpayers are stuck holding failed bets on everything from toxic subprime mortgages to strip malls and hotels. you know, thanks to the bailouts, taxpayers now own stakes in bankrupt hilton hotels in malaysia, russia and singapore. i'm not sure that's what the congress had in mind when they started the federal reserve. the federal reserve owned parts of civic opera buildings in chicago at crossroads mall in oklahoma city. i thought it was bad when the fed was printing money to keep up the government shopping spree, but i never expected they would buy the mall to go shopping in. they say it's over when the fat lady sings. well, now the fed has an opera house ready for her to sing in. americans deserve to know if the federal reserve is being honest
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with the congress and with the american people. we know what they say behind closed doors doesn't square with what they say publicly. recently, released transcripts show that in 2004, members of the federal reserve publicly down played specific concerns they discussed internally about the coming housing crisis. they knew we had a problem. at that time, chairman alan greenspan said if they were to encourage the public to talk about it, and i quote -- "it's possible to lose control of a process that only we fully understand. "end quote. meanwhile, they were telling the congress and the public everything was fine. and by doing that, they cost millions of americans a lifetime of savings that they are still struggling. millions of people out of work
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because of mismanagement by the federal reserve, yet they seem to think that they require no supervision, no accountability, no transparency. we need to end that with this amendment today. within 30 days of the president signing this legislation, this amendment that has been proposed, the federal reserve will have to tell us who got all this bailout money, how much they got and the reasoning for getting it and what terms of repayment there are. it's a pretty simple request. true finance reform must include a full audit of the federal reserve, and a breakup and a winddown of freddie mac and fannie mae. but the people who run the government aren't willing to hold the government institutions responsible, and those who really understand what happened in this financial crisis know that the easy money policy of the federal reserve, fannie mae
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and freddie mac, buying subprime mortgages and securitizing them, selling them all over the world were a large part of the meltdown of our financial system. yet this financial reform bill that we're talking about does not even address the real causes of our financial meltdown. but one thing we can do if we pass this amendment is make sure there is more transparency, more account ablght at the federal reserve. as i have already mentioned just yesterday, freddie mac posted an $8 billion loss. it's now fully owned by the federal government. so the federal government is clearly mismanaging freddie mac. and they asked for another another $10 billion bailout from the taxpayers. but this time that doesn't have to go through congress. president obama has taken the caps off anything that can go to these bankrupt companies, so just billions of dollars are
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going to flow from taxpayers directly to these government-owned entities. freddie mac and fannie mae have together lost at least least $126.9 billion so far. it's pretty amazing in a time when this country is just overcome with debt. there is no end in sight and there is no cap on how much taxpayers could bail them out, yet they are not even mentioned in this financial reform bill. we have heard about greed on wall street, but we haven't even addressed the greed within the government and within the government agencies. the democrat house financial services chairman barney frank doesn't think that these government-run institutions are good candidates for reform. he wrote a memo to the white house yesterday saying they were being managed responsibly and aren't doing any further economic damage. fortunately, senator mccain has an amendment to address this, and i hope it passes, but
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if there is one place that the blame can be placed for this financial meltdown, it comes back to fannie mae and freddie mac. wall street certainly deserves a lot of the blame for the financial crisis because they took advantage of a lot of the mismanagement in government to their own benefit. but the federal reserve, freddie mac and fannie mae also deserve a lot of the blame, and they should be addressed as well. the sanders amendment at least begins the process in letting us know what the federal reserve is doing. the fed amendment has more than 300 cosponsors in the house and 32 in the senate. it's supported by a broad spectrum of political groups from freedom works all the way to very liberal groups. within here, if america wants bipartisan activity, it could
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not be more bipartisan than bernie sanders and jim demint. so i encourage my colleagues to support this bill. let's reform not only the financial system but our own house, and that includes the federal reserve. thank you, mr. president. i yield back. the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. warner: mr. president, i rise today and just speak very briefly following on my colleague's comments from south carolina. so much about the amendment pending that i know has reached broad bipartisan support, but i also want to comment on what happened in the market today. the stock market was down about 347 points, but what was more telling was the stock market at one point today approached a loss of a thousand points, which would have, if it had held, would have been the largest single day loss in modern
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history. now, there were a number of causes. my colleague messengered some. clear concerns about the crisis in greece, but what it appears to be in terms of real-time reporting going on right now is that part of this precipitous drop took place because it appears that there was a technology glitch on an order put in that had no back guard or safeguards to stop it. now, i know this is -- i'm going to quickly go into an area that is actually the expertise of the presiding officer. he may want to take a moment here. i know senator mccain's time is up or will be up in a moment, but i have heard sitting in that chair my friend, the senator from delaware, come to this floor time and again to talk about the challenges that have been created in the marketplace with increased use of high-speed
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trading, flash trading, co-location, sponsored access. a whole series of technical terms, terms that we may have seen the first inkling today of what happens when these tools of technology don't work the way they are supposed to. and i would like to ask my friend, the senator from delaware, who has spent time on this issue much more than i, but i think today we saw and i have become a believer and i know the s.e.c. has started to move forward on the flash trading issue, but there are a series of other activities that as we go through this financial reform bill, we at least need to have more facts. i, for one, believe the s.e.c. needs to have the resources to keep up with the marketplace, and i think we saw in living, breathing, real-time example today the potential catastrophe that takes place if we don't have an ability to make sure we adequately use this technology but we have safeguards and really realize how some of these firms are using this technology
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to get an advantage over the everyday main street investor. mr. kaufman: thank you. the senator from virginia, right from the beginning you have said -- and because of your great knowledge on wall street and finance, it came as a great source of encouragement to me. i have been on this floor and spoken repeatedly, and this is not a surprise. now, whether this actually turned out to be the worst case of what we're talking about, we don't know. but what happened over the years, we went from a market that was basically a floor-based market to a market that was digitalization and decimalization, where we began to have tenths using decimals as opposed to eighths. and what happened is that markets, people -- computer firms. if you want to read a great story, a book by steven jackson relays out. what happened is people came into the market and they began to develop these high-speed computers. so human beings were no longer
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doing the trading, the computers were. they developed these algorithms. the whole thing is run automatically. it grew and grew. now something like -- they went from 30% to 70% of all the trades in our markets are in these high-frequency trading that uses these high-speed computers. there is no way to know what's going on. they trade 2,000 to 3,000 shares in a second. no one knows what's happening in the exchanges when the trade something going on. no one knows. the securities and exchange commission has said, after repeated requests, that we're going to look at market structure. this is months ago. they say, we're going to look at this. now they're having a group look at it. right now there's no way know what is happening in the marketplace. all we have been requesting from the securities and exchange commission is they take a look at what's happening. because remember, you have 2,000 to 3,000 trades in a second. the only records are kept in the actual trades.
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but 90%, just to let you know how complicated it is 90% of the trades are canceled. why are they doing that? there are a lost allegations. but right now we have in gigantic business. 70% of the trading and we know what's not going on. what can happen if we allow our banks to minute well, our investment banks and don't put some cap on it? investment banks are into risky things and where most of these things are taking place. if you go back and look at derivatives, you had under derivatives is you had a whole lot of money. derivatives is gigantic. this is now gigantic. you had a lot of change. we went from very few derivatives to massive numbers of them. this we we nee went from 30% toe high-frequency trading. we have no transparency like we havhave with derivatives.
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we have no regulation because you don't know what the trades are. and what happened? we had this gigantic meltdown. so i'm just saying, i totally agree with the senator from virginia. we have a very dangerous situation. mr. warner: and i will wrap up very quickly here. we saw today, for example, in mast a moment or two procter and gamble, one of america's premier companies, fall from $60 to $39. so another company fall from around $0 to a penny stock -- from around $30 to a penny stofnlgt this was a resulstock. this was a result of some of the lack of oversight. there would be nobody in this chamber that is morph an voaskt technology and the powerful tool that technology can be. but we're seeing, and i think the senator from delaware has been an early leader on this. and i've listened to his speeches for months. and everything in my gut say, he is onto something here.
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and i've asked the chairman of the banking complete to make sure that as we -- as this piece of legislation proceeds, that we make sure that, whether it is a study, whether it is an appropriate request of the s.e.c. that this high-speed -- high-frequency trading, colocations, sponsored access, all of these theories and tools that seem to give the big guys a slightly bigger advantage over the everyday investor, be appropriate subject of some additional study. we may disagree about how we got into the last crisis, but i believe the senator from delaware is potentially on to what could be the next crisis. and i think we perhaps saw a little window into that possibility today when the stock market got close for moments in time, what appeared to be based on technology errors, high-speed trading, got very close to being perhaps the single-biggest loss in modern american history, 1,000-point loss. a moment in time this afternoon. so i will a yield back to my
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friend, the senator from delaware, unless the senator from arizona wants to talk on his issue as well. i think there was a warning sign shot across the bow today. as we deal with financial reregulation, if we don't make sure this is part of the mix, i think we're not acting appropriately. mr. kaufman: i would yield -- i think this is a case that we have to look into this, see what's going on and find out what's going on i yield to the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: madam president, i want to discuss amendment 3839. this amendment is designed to end the taxpayer-backed conservatorship of fannie mae and freddie mac by putting in place an orderly transition period and eventually requiring them to operate without government subsidies on a level playing field with their private-sector competitors.
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the events of the last two years have made it clear that never again can we allow the taxpayer to be responsible for poorly managed financial entities who gambled away billions of dollars. fannie mae and freddie mac are synonymous with mismanagement and waste and have become the face of too big to fail. the time has come to end fannie mae and freddie mac's taxpayer-backed free ride and require them to operate on a level playing field. i'd like to mention, an a.p. story entitled "freddie mac asked for $10.6 billion more in federal aid after posting $8 billion loss in first quarter. freddie mac is asking for $10.6 billion in addition federal aid after posting a big loss in the first three months of the year. it's another sign that the
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taxpayer bill for stabilizing the housing market will keep mounting. mclean-based virginia mortgage company has been fctively owned by the government after nearly collapsing in september of 2008. the new request will bring the total tab for rescuing freddie mac to $61.3 billion. freddie mac says it lost $8 billion or $2.45 a share in the january-march period. that takes into account $1.3 billion in dividends paid to the treasury department and it compares with a loss of $10.4 billion in the year-ago period." so the beat goes on. and the drainage goes on. and here we have money yet -- in this chart, the money yet to be paid by institutions -- to be repaid by institutions that
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received $10 billion or more in taxpayer bailouts. obviously, these organizations have paid back. gmac still has $16 billion. they owe the taxpayers. citigroup, $25 billion. g.m., despite their p.r. stunt the other day where they paid back with tarp money -- they paid the taxpayers with taxpayers' money, $43.7 billion. a.i.g., $69.8 billion. and of course fannie and freddie, $125-plus billion. i'd like to begin today by calling my colleagues' attention to an editorial in this this morning's "wall street journal" which states, "fan and fred owned or guaranteed $5 trillion in mortgages -- in mortgage-backed securities when they collapsed in september of
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2008. reforming the financial system without fixingen if knee and freddie is like declaring a war on terror an ignoring al qaeda." i want to repeat that sentence for the benefit of my colleagues from "the wall street journal" this morning. "reforming the financial system without fixing fannie and freddie is like declaring war on terror and ignoring al qaeda. unreformed, they're sure to kill taxpayers again. only yesterday, freddie said it lost $8 billion in the first quarter, requested another $10.6 billion from uncle sam, and warned that it would need more in the future. this comes on top of the $126.9 billion that fan and fred had already lost through the end of 2509. the you don't yow are by far the biggest losers of the entire financial panic. bigger than a.i. g.i., citigroup
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and the rest. when the 2008 meltdown through 2020, the toxic twins will cost taxpayers close to $380 billion. the numbers --" the numbers, i stey say, are staggering. staggering. according to the congressional budget office, this is a cautious estimate. "the obama administration won't even put the companies on budget for fear of the deficit impact, but it realizes the problem because last christmas eve, strangely enough on christmas eve, it raised the $400 billion cap on their potential taxpayer losses to infinity. moreover, these taxpayer losses understate the financial destruction wrought by fan and fred. by concealing how much they were gambling on risky subprime and
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alter national-a mortgages, the company said bogus signals on the size of these markets and distorted decision making throughout the system. their implicit guarantee also let them sell mortgage-backed securities around the world attracting capital to u.s. housing and, thus, turbo charging the mania." specifically, this amendment does several things. it provides for a finite end to the current conservative scsh conservatorship period for both government-sponsored enterprises, g. se's, at two years from the date of enactment. the federal housing finance agency has an option to extend conservatorship for six months if the fhfa director determines and notifies congress that adverse market conditions exist. if at the end of conservatorship
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a g.s.e. is not financially viable, the fhfa must place that g.s.e. in receivership. if the g.s.e. is financially viable, then it would be allowed to reenter the market under new operating restrictions. provides for changes to existing operating structure: it calls for the repeal of the affordable housing goal mandate for the g.s.e.'s. it calls for new limits for mortgage assets held on its books of no more than 5e9d% of mortgage assets owned on december 31 of the prior year. reduced an additional 25% by the end of year one. reduced an additional 25% by the understand of year two, and reduced to $250 by the end of year three. it strengthens capital standards and allows them to be increased by the fhfa as necessary.
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calls for the repeal of the temporary increases in conforming loan limit and high-cost area increases and return to the 417,000 confirming loan limit for the first year, subject to annual adjustments by fhfa. provides for a prohibition on the purchase of mortgages exceeding the median home price for that eamplet it calls for a minimum down payment requirements of at least 5% for all new loans purchased by the g.s.e., increasing to 7.5% in the second year and 10% in the third year. it repeals the g.s.e.'s exemption from having to pay state and local taxes. i wonder how many of my colleagues and fellow citizens knew thatten if knee and freddie -- that fannie and freddie did not have to pay state and local taxes? a repeal of the exemption allowing g.s.e. securities to
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avoid full s.e.c. registration. in other words, given their enormous clout here in the congress, fannie and freddie were able to have an exemption from their securities fall under full s.e.c. registration. it calls for an assessment of fee on g.s.e. t.s.o. recoup full benefit of the benefit provided by the federal government. the g.a.o. will conduct a study to determine current value of government guarantee. it establishes a three-year period after the end of conservatorship for g.s.e.'s to operate under new operating restrictions until their government charter expires. upon charter expiration, it provides for a ten-year period through which the creation of a separate holding corporation and a dissolution is held.
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it establishes a senate-confirmed special inspector general within the government accountability office with responsibility for investigating and reporting to congress on decisions made with respect to the conservatorships of fannie mae and freddie mafnlgt the s.i.g. would provide quarterly reports to congress. while g.s.e.'s remain in conservatorship, it reestablishes the federal funding limit of $200 billion per institution for the g.s.e.'s and requires the g.s.e.'s to reduce their portfolio holdings by 10% of the prior year's holdings. it also establishes an approval process for any further agreements that puts taxpayers at risk. it place places fannie mae and e mac as part of the federal budget. as long as either institution is
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under conservatorship or receivership. now, again, my colleagues might be interested that fannie mae and freddie mac and what we're doing with them now is not part of the federal budget. remarkable. requires the f.h.a. to establish minimum prudent underwriting standards for mortgage loans eligible for g.s.e. purchase. minimum requirements will include verification and documentation of income and assets relied upon to qualify the borrower for the mortgage loan and determination of borrower's ability to repay the mortgage loan. and i might add that the congressional budget office has indicated that this amendment would save the taxpayers several billions of dollars annually. i repeat: the congressional budget office states -- and, by the way, it hasn't been given
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any phony suplgs such as a -- phony assumption such as a doc fix that this would save the taxpayers several billions annually. during the debate on the financial reform bill, we'll continue to hear a lot about how the united states government will never again allow a financial institution to become too big to fail. we'll hear countless calls for more regulation to ensure that taxpayers are never again placed at such tremendous risk. sadly -- and i say very sadly -- the underlying bill completely ignores the elephant in the room, because no other entity's failure would be as disastrous to our economy as fannie mae's and freddie mac's. yet, this bill doesn't address them at all. in a recent opinion piece in the "wall street journal," robert
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wilmirsh wrote -- and i quote -- "congress may be making progress crafting new regulations for the financial services industry, but it has yet to begin reforming two institutions that played a key role in the 2008 credit crisis: fannie mae and freddie mac. we cannot reform these government-sponsored enterprises unless we fully confront the extent to which their outrageous behavior and reckless business practices have affected the entire commercial banking sector and the u.s. economy as a whole. at the end of 2009, their debt outstanding either held directly on their balance sheets or as guarantees on mortgage securities they'd sold to investors was $8.1 trillion."
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$8.1 trillion. "that compares to the $7.8 trillion in total marketable debt outstanding for the entire u.s. government. the debt has the implicit guarantee of the federal government but is not reflected on the national balance sheet. the public is focused more on taxpayer bailouts of banks, automakers and insurance companies. but the scale of the rescue required in september 2008, when fannie and freddie were forced into conservatorship, their version of bankruptcy was staggering. to date, the federal government has been forced to pump $126 billion into fannie and freddie. that's far more than a.i.g., which absorbed $70 billion of government largess. and general motors and chrysler
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which shared $77 billion. banks received $205 billion, of which $136 billion has been repaid. fannie and freddie continue to operate deeply in the red with no end in sight. the congressional budget office estimated that if their operating costs and subsidies were included in our accounting of the overall federal deficit, as properly they should be, the 2009 deficit would be greater by $291 billion. the op-ed continues, "all of this happened in the name of the american dream of homeownership, but there is no evidence that fannie and freddie helped much to make this dream come true. despite initiatives in the early 1970's shortly as they were
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incorporated as private korpgs protected by government charters, the percentage of american households owning homes has increased by merely four percentage points to 67%. according to a 2004 congressional budget office study, the two g.s.e.'s enjoyed $30 billion in subsidies in 2003 primarily in the form of lower borrowing costs and exemption from state taxation, but they passed on only $13 billion to home buyers. so they got $23 billion in subsidies and passed on only $13 billion to home buyers. nevertheless, one former fannie mae c.e.o. franklin raines, received $91 million in compensation from 1998 through 2003. amazing. in 2006, the top five fannie mae
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executives shared $34 million in compensation while their counterparts at freddie mac shared $35 million. in 2009, even after the financial crash, and as these two g.s.e.'s fell deeper into the red, the top five executives at fannie mae received $19 million in compensation and the c.e.o. earned $6 million. this isn't private enterprise. it's crony capitalism in which public subsidies are turned into private riches. from 2001 through 2006, fannie and freddie spent $123 million to lobby congress, the second-highest lobbying total in the country. that lobbying was complemented by sizable direct political
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contributions to members of congress. changing this terrible situation will not be easy. the mortgage market has come to be structured around fannie and freddie and powerful interests are allied with the status quo. nonetheless, congress must get to work on the reform of fannie mae and freddie mac. a healthy housing market, a healthy financial system and even the bond rating of the federal government depend on it. there have been countless warnings about the mismanagement of fannie and freddie over the years. in may of 2006, after a 27-month investigation into the corrupt corporate culture and accounting practices at fannie mae, the office of federal housing enterprise oversight, ofheo, the federal regulator charged with overseeing fannie mae, issued a blistering 348-page report which
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stated -- and i quote -- "fannie mae's senior management promoted an image of the enterprise as one of the lowest-risk financial institutions in the world and as best in class in terms of risk management, financial reporting, internal control and corporate governance. the findings in this report show that risks at fannie mae were greatly understated and that the image was false. during the period covered by this report, 1998 to mid2004, fannie mae reported extremely smooth profit growth and announced targets for earnings per share precisely each quarter. those achievements were dilutions deliberately and systematically created by enterprises of senior management with the aid of inappropriate accounting and improper earnings management. a large number of fannie mae's accounting policies and
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practices did not comply with the generally accepted accounting principles. the enterprise also had serious problems of internal control, financial reporting and corporate governance. those errors resulted in fannie mae overstating reported income and capital by a currently estimated $10.6 billion. by deliberately and intentionally manipulating accounting to hit earnings targets, senior management maximized the bonuses and other executive compensation they received at the expense of shareholders. earnings management made a significant contribution to the compensation of fannie mae chairman and c.e.o. franklin raines, which totaled over $90 million from 1989 through 2003. i repeat from the report,
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"earnings management made a significant contribution to the compensation of fannie mae chairman and c.e.o. franklin raines, which total over $980 from 19 -- over $90 million from 1998 to 2003. over $50 million was directly tied to achieving earnings per share targets. fannie mae consistently took a significant amount of interest rate risk, and when interest rates fell in 2002 incurred billions of dollars in economic losses. the enterprise also had large operational and reputational risk exposures. fannie mae's board of directors contributed to those problems by failing to be sufficiently informed and to act independently of its chairman franklin raines and other senior executives by failing to exercise the requisite oversight over the enterprise's operations
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and by failing to discover and ensure the correction of a wide variety of unsafe and unsound practices. the board's failure continued in the wake of revelations of accounting problems and improper earnings management at freddie mac and other high-profile firms. the initiation of ofheo's special examination and credible allegations of improper earnings management made by an employee of enterprise's office of the comptroller. senior management did not make investments in accounting systems, computer systems and other infrastructure, and staffing needed to support a sound internal control system, proper accounting and gaap, g-a-a-p, consistent financial reporting. those challenges came at a time
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when fannie mae faced many challenges related to accounting and legal requirements. fannie mae's senior management sought to interfere with ofheo's special examination by directing the enterprise's lobbyists to use their ties to congressional staff to, one, generate a congressional request for the inspector general of the department of housing and urban development -- h.u.d. -- to investigate ofheo's conduct of that investigation. and, two, insert into an appropriations bill language that would reduce the agency's appropriations until the director of ofheo was replaced. ofheo was directed and will continue to direct fannie mae to take remedial actions to enhance the safe and sound operations of the enterprise going forward. ofheo staff recommends actions to enhance the goal of maintaining the safety and
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soundness of fannie mae. a remarkable, remarkable report. so what steps were taken by the congress to punish fannie mae for such deliberate manipulation and outright corruption? basically none. according to published reports, including fannie mae's own news release, daniel mudd, the president and c.e.o. of fannie mae at the time, was awarded over $14.4 million in 2006, the year that this report was issued. and over $12.2 million in 2007 in salary, bonuses and stock. and fannie mae continued their risky behavior, successfully posting profits of $4.1 billion in 2006. the blatant corruption reported by the ofheo led me to come to
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the senate floor back in 2006 and call for the immediate consideration of g.s.e. regulatory reform legislation. at that time i said "for years i've been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs fannie mae and freddie mac and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. ofheo's report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. in fact, the report does quite the contrary. ofheo's report solidifies my view that the g.s.e.'s need to be reformed without delay. if congress does not act, american taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that fannie mae and freddie mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole. additionally, also in may 2006,
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i joined 19 of my colleagues writing to the majority leader, urging him to bring the federal housing enterprise regulatory reform act to the floor for debate. this letter -- i ask unanimous consent this letter be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. mccain: the letter stated in part, "substantial testimony calling for improved regulation of the g.s.e.'s has been provided to the senate by the treasury, federal reserve, h.u.d., g.a.o. and others. congress has the opportunity to recommit itself to the housing mission of the g.s.e.'s while at the same time making sure the g.s.e.'s operate in a manner that does not expose our financial system or taxpayers to unnecessary risk. it is vitally important that congress take the necessary steps to ensure that these institutions benefit from strong and independent regulatory supervision, operate in a safe
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and sound manner and are primarily focused on their statutory mission. more importantly, congress must ensure that the american taxpayer is protected in the event either g.s.e. should fail. sadly, the bill which had passed the senate banking committee under the leadership of then-chairman shelby with the support of all the committee's republicans and none of the democrats was not brought up for consideration before this body. it's critical to note here that it was in 2005 that the g.s.e.'s, which have been acquiring increasing number of subprime loans for ha many yearn order to meet their h.u.d. imposed affordable housing requirements, accelerated the purchases that led to their 2008 insolvency. if legislation along the lines
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of the senate banking committee's bill had been enacted that year, many, if not all the losses that fannie and freddie have suffered and will suffer in the future might have been avoided. i want to make it clear to my colleagues, failure of congress to act prevented -- could have prevented if they had acted many of the failures that we are now facing. any criticism leveled at congress for their failures at fannie mae and freddie mac is very well placed. on october 3, 2008, the "wall street journal" reported on how congress pushed fannie mae and freddie mac to increase the purchases of low- and moderate-income borrowers. they wrote -- and i quote from the "wall street journal" article -- "beginning in 1992, congress pushed fannie mae and freddie mac to increase their purchases of mortgages going to low- and moderate-income
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borrowers. for 1996, the department of housing and urban development gave dispean freddie an expolice -- fannie and freddie an explicit target, 42% of their mortgage financing had to go with borrowers with income below the median in their area. the target increased to 50% in 2000, and 52% in 2005. for 1996, h.u.d. required that 12% of all mortgages purchased by fannie and freddie be 'special a, affordable' loans typically to borrowers with income less than 60% of their area's median income. that number was increased to 20% in 2000, and 22% in 2005. and the 2008 goal was to be 28%. between 2000-2005, fannie and freddie met those goals every year, funding hundreds of billions of dollars worth of
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loans, many of them subprime and adjustable-rate loans made to borrowers who bought houses with less than 10% down. fannie and freddie also purchased hundreds of billions of subprime securities for their own portfolios to make money and help satisfy h.u.d. affordable housing goals. fannie and freddie were important contributors to the demand for subprime securities. congress designed fannie and freddie to serve both their investors and the political class. demanding that fannie and freddie do more to increase homeownership among poor people allowed congress and the white house to subsidize low-income housing outside of the budget, at least in the short run. it was a political free lunch. the community reinvestment act, c.r.a., did the same thing with traditional banks. it encouraged banks to serve two masters: their bottom line and
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the so-called common good. first passed in 1977, the c.r.a. was -- quote -- "strengthened in 1995, causing an increase of 80% in the number of bank loans going to low- and moderate-income families. and, by the way, there is nothing wrong with that as long as they meet the fundamental criteria that they're borrowing money that they can pay back. fannie and freddie were part of the c.r.a. story too. in 1997, bear stearns did the first securitization of c.r.a. loans, a $384 million offering guaranteed by freddie mac. over the next 10 years -- over the next 10 months, bear stearns issued $1.9 billion of c.r.a. mortgages backed by fannie or freddie. between 2000-2002, fannie mae securitized $394 billion in
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c.r.a. loans with $20 billion going to securitized mortgages. fannie and freddie played a significant role in the explosion of subprime mortgages and subprime mortgage-backed securities. without fannie and freddie's implicit guarantee of government support -- which turned out to be all too real -- with the mortgage-backed securities market and the subprime part it was expanded the way they did? perhaps. but before we conclude that markets failed, we need a careful analysis of public policy's role in creating this mess. greedy investors obviously played a part, but investors have always been greedy. and some inevitable overreach and destroy themselves. why did they take so many down with them this time? part of the answer is a political class greedy to push homeownership rates to historic
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highs. from 64% in 1994 to 69% in 2004. this was mostly the result of loans to low-income, higher-risk borrowers. both bill clinton and george w. bush, abetted by congress, trumpeted that rise as it occurred. the consequence? on top of putting the entire financial system at risk, the hidden cost has been hundreds of billions of dollars funneled into the housing market instead of more productive assets. beware of trying to do good with other people's money. unfortunately, that strategy remains at the heart of the political process and of proposed solutions so this crisis. congress had the responsibility to ensure that fannie and freddie were properly supervised and adequately regulated. congress failed, and the
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devastation caused by that failure tons reverberate a-- failure continues to reverberate across the nation as more and more families face foreclosures every day. in september 2008, "the washington post" published an in-depth article titled, "how washington failed to rein in fannie and freddie. as profits grew, firms used their power to mask peril." it's extremely informative and raised many troubling questions about the culture of corruption which is evident in the operations of both enterprises. the "post" piece begins, "gary gentzler, an under secretary of the treasury, went to capitol hill in march 2000 to testify in favor of a bill everyone knew would fail. fannie mae and freddie mac were ascendant, giants of the mortgage finance business and key players in the clinton administration's drive to expand homeownership. but gentzler and other treasury
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officials feared the companies had grown so large that if they stumbled, the damage to the u.s. economy could be staggering. few officials had ever publicly criticized fannie mae and freddie mac, but gentzler concluded it was time to urge congress to rein them in. 'we thought this was a hand-on-the-bible moment, he recalled.' the bill failed. the companies kept growing. the dangers posed by their scale and financial practices kept mounting. critics kept warning of the consequences. yet across official washington, those who might have acted repeatedly failed to do so until it was too late. blessed with the advantages of a government agency and a private company at the same time, fannie mae and freddie mac used their windfall profits to co-op the politicians who were supposed to control them. the companies fought successfully against increased
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regulation by cultivating their friends and hounding their enemies. the agencies that regulated the companies were outmatched. they lacked the money, the staff, the sophistication and the political support to serve as an effective check. but most of all, the companies were protected by the belief, widespread in washington and aggressively promoted by fannie mae and freddie mac, that their success was inseparable from the expansion of homeownership in america. that conviction was so strong that many lawmakers and regulators ignored the peril posed to this ideal by the failure of either company. in october 2002, a brief debate unfolded on the floor of the house of representatives over a bill to create a new regulator for fancy may and freddie mac. on one side stood jim leach, an iowa republican concerned that congress was -- quote --
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"hamstringing this new regulator at the behest of the companies." he warned that the two companies were changing -- quote -- "from being agencies of the public at large to money machines for the stocstockholding few." on the other side stood barney frank, a massachusetts democrat who said the companies served a public purpose. they were in the business of lowering the price of mortgage loans. congress chose to create a weak regulator, the office of federal housing enterprise oversight. the agency was required to get its budget approved by congress. while agencies that regulated banks set their own budget. that gave congressional allies an easy way to exert pressure. fannie mae's lobbyists worked to ensure that the agency was poorly funded and its budget remained subject to approval in the annual appropriations process. ofheo said more than a decade later in a report on fannie mae. the goal of senior management was straightforward: to force
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ofheo to rely on fannie mae for information and expertise to the degree that fannie mae would essentially regulate itself. congress also wanted to free up money for fannie mae and freddie mac to buy mortgage loans and specified that the pair would be required to keep a much smaller share of their funds on hand than other financial institutions. where banks had held $100 could spend $90 buying mortgage loans. fannie mae and freddie mac could spend $97.50 buying loans. finally, congress ordered that the companies be required to keep more capital as a cushion against losses if they invested in riskier securities. but the rule was never set during the clinton administration, which came to office that winter but was only
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put in place nine years later. the clinton administration wanted to expand the share of americans who owned homes which had stagnated below 65% throughout the 1980's. encouraging the growth of the two companies was a key part of that plan. quote -- "we began to stress homeownership as an explicit goal for this period of american history," said henry cisneros, then-secretary of housing and urban development. fannie and freddie became part of that equation. the result was a period of unrestrained growth for the companies. they had pioneered the business of selling bundled mortgage loans to investors and now as demand from investors soared, so did their profits. near the end of the clinton administration, some of its officials had concluded the companies were so large that their sheer size posed a risk to the financial system. in the fall of 1999, treasury secretary lawrence summers
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issued a warning, saying -- quote -- "debates about systemic risk should also now include government-sponsored enterprises, which are large and growing rapidly." it was a signal moment. an administration official had said in public that fannie mae and freddie mac could be a hazard. the next spring, seeking to limit the company's growth, treasury official gentzler testified before congress in favor of a bill that would have suspended the treasury's right to buy $2.25 billion of each company's debt. basically a $4.5 billion lifeline for the companies. a fannie mae spokesman announced that gentzler's remarks had just cost 206,000 americans the chance to buy a home because the market now saw the companies as a riskier investment. the treasury department folded in the face of public pressure.
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there was an emerging consensus among politicians and even critics of the two companies that fannie mae might be right. the companies increasingly were seen as the engine of the housing boom. they were increasingly impervious to calls for even modest reforms. as early as 1996, the congressional budget office had reported that the two companies were using government support to boost profits rather than reducing mortgage rates as much as possible. but the report concluded that severing government ties with fannie mae and freddie mac would harm the housing market. in unusually colorful language, the budget office wrote -- "once one agrees to share a canoe with a bear, it's hard to get him out without obtaining his agreement or getting wet. fannie mae and freddie mac enjoyed the nearest thing to a license to print money. the companies borrowed money at below market interest rates
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based on the perception that the government guaranteed repayment, and then they used the money to buy mortgages that paid market interest rates. federal reserve chairman alan greenspan called the difference between the interest rates a -- quote -- big fat gap. the budget office study found that it was worth $3.9 billion in 1995, but by 2004, the office would estimate it was worth $20 billion. as a result, the great risk to the profitability of fannie mae and freddie mac was not the movement of interest rates or defaults by borrowers. the concerns of normal financial institutions. fannie mae's risk was political. the concern that the government would end its special status. so the companies increasingly used their windfall from a massive campaign to protect that status. we manage our political risk with the same intensity that we
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manage our credit and interest rate risk, fannie mae chief executive franklin raines said in a 1999 meeting with investors. fannie mae and to a lesser extent freddie mac became enmeshed in the fabric of political washington. they were places phenomenonner government officials went to get wealthy and to wait for new federal appointments. at fannie mae, chief executives had clauses written in their contracts, spelling out the severance benefits they would receive if they left for a government post. the companies also donated generously to the campaigns of favored politicians. but fannie mae wasn't just about buying influence. it was selling government officials on an idea by making it brand synonymous with homeownership. the company spent tens of millions of dollars each year on advertising.
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in tying itself to politicians and wrapping itself in the american flag, fannie mae went out of its way to share credit with politicians for investments in their communities. they have always done everything in their power to massage congress, leach said, and when they couldn't massage, they intimidated. in 2003, richard h. baker, republican, louisiana, chairman of the house financial services subcommittee, with oversight over fannie mae and freddie mac got information from ofheo on the salaries paid to executives at both companies. fannie mae threatened to sue baker if he released it, he recalled. fearing the spence of a court -- fearing the expense of a court battle, he kept the data secret for a year. baker who left office in february, 2008, said he had never received a comparable threat from another company in 21 years in congress. the political arrogance exhibited in their heyday there has never been before or since a
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private entity that exerted that kind of political power, he said. in june, 2003, freddie mac dropped a bomb still. it had understated its profits over the previous three years by as much as $6.9 billion in an effort to smooth out earnings. ofheo seemed blind. months earlier, the regulator had pronounced freddie's accounting controls, quote -- "accurate and reliable." humiliated by the scandal, then-ofheo director armando falcon jr. persuaded the white house to pay for an outside accountant to review the books of fannie mae. the agency reported in september, 2004, that fannie had also manipulated its accounting in this case to inflate its profits. the company soon faced new bills in both the house and the senate, seeking increased regulation. the bush administration took the
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hardest line, insisting on a strong new regulator and seeking the power to put the companies into receivership if they foundered. that suggested the government might not stand behind the company's debt. fannie mae and freddie mac succeeded in escaping once more by pounding every available button. the companies orchestrated a letter-writing campaign by traditional allies, including real estate agents, home builders and mortgage lenders. fannie mae ran radio and television ads ahead of a key senate committee meeting depicting a latino couple who fretted that if the bill passed, mortgage rates would go up. the wife lamented, quote -- "but that could mean we won't be able to afford the new house." most of all, the company leaned on its congressional supporters. fannie mae even persuaded the new york stock exchange to allow
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its shares to keep trading. the company had not issued a required report on its financial conditions in a year. the rules of the exchange required delisting, so the exchange created an exception when -- quote -- delisting would be significantly temporary to the national interests. the amendment was approved by the securities and exchange commission, fannie mae would remain on the new york stock exchange. as fannie mae and freddie mac were trying to recover from their accounting scandals, a new and ultimately more tall threat emerged. yet again, the warnings went unheeded for too long. the companies had begun buying loans made to borrowers with credit problems. fannie mae and freddie mac had been losing market share to wall street banks which were doing boom town business packaging these riskier loans. the mortgage finance giants wanted a share of the profits.
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soon, the firm's own reports were noting the growing risk of their portfolios. dense monthly summaries, the company's mortgage purposes were piling up at ofheo. an employee at one of the companies said it was already a constant discussion around the office in 2004. when would the regulators notice? it didn't take a lot of sophistication to notice what was happening to the quality of the loans. anybody could have seen it, the staffer said, but nobody on the outside was even questioning us about it. president bush had pledged to create an ownership society, and the companies were helping the administration achieve its goal of putting more than 10 million americans into their first homes. fannie mae and freddie mac's appetite for risky loans were growing ever more voracious. by the time ofheo began raising red flags in january, 2007, many borrowers were defaulting on
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loans, and within months, fannie mae and freddie mac would be running up money to cover the losses. finally, as the crisis -- as the credit crisis escalated, congress passed a bill in july of 2008 that established a tough new regulator for fannie mae and freddie mac. it was too late. americans are hurting. the economic situation remains depressed in my state. unemployment is at record levels. the time has come to end the taxpayer-funded free ride of the gambling institutions. we can't afford it anymore. and, mr. president, for us to somehow say that we are going to enact significant and meaningful financial regulatory reform without addressing this situation, these hundreds of billions of dollars, toxic
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assets that still have not been resolved, two government enterprises, government-supported enterprises that have been propped up by the taxpayers of america for too long, while they engaged in the riskiest of enterprises, paying obscene profits to their executives and c.e.o.'s, their boards of directors derelict in their duties, criminally so, we must enact reform of freddie and fannie if we're going to perform our duties, albeit too late, too late because of the terrible loss that is we have inflicted on the american taxpayers, but it's not too late to fix it. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island is recognized. mr. whitehouse: thank you, mr. president. i wish to speak for a moment
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again about my amendment numbered 3746, which i'm delighted that the distinguished presiding officer is a cosponsor of, and i would like to ask unanimous consent that chairman patrick leahy, senator jim webb and senator bob casey all be added as cosponsors to the amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. so ordered. mr. whitehouse: just to recap it briefly, if you go around the country -- i would be glad to yield to the chairman. mr. dodd: i see my friend from arizona. could i ask my -- did you lay down your amendment, senator? i'm unclear. mr. mccain: i have not laid down the amendment because i understand that the senator from connecticut would move to table, and there are numerous members that want to talk on this issue, this multitrillion dollar issue. so no, i have not -- but i can
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also assure the senator from connecticut if i propose the amendment and it is tabled without proper debate, there will be another amendment just like it. mr. dodd: let me say to my -- my friend, he is my friend from arizona, i have no intention of immediately tabling anyone's amendment. i have not done that at all in the process. i think most members appreciate, i have been trying to make sure everybody has a chance to be heard and to work out amendments where we can so we can move along. you can also understand my dilemma in a sense that we have 100 members here that basically all have amendments they want to get heard on. everyone thinks their amendment is pretty important, i respect that. all i want to look for is a time agreement so we can say how much time do we need so we can set up some schedule where some predictability. members want to go home tomorrow. do we have votes tomorrow, votes on monday? i'm trying to schedule here so i can accommodate as many people as i can so they can be heard on the matters. that's all i'm seeking. i'm not trying to short cut
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anybody, although i would ask reasonableness on time so we have a chance so that everybody gets a crack at what they would like to do. that's all i'm inquiring. mr. mccain: in the words of humphrey bogart in "casablanca," i was misinformed because i was told by several different individuals that you would be moving to table the amendment if it was proposed. i'm glad to hear that that was not the case. i know of at least 20 members on this side who want to speak on this issue. i will try to compile those and try to come to you with a list and the time that they want to discuss. in all due respect to all the other amendments -- and i don't say this very often -- when we're talking about trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars, this is a very important amendment, and so i will try to get to the distinguished chairman, i think with sympathy and respect, a list of speakers and the amount of time they may consume as soon as possible. mr. durbin: could i ask the
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senator from arizona while he is working out his list, could we work on other amendments here, bring them to a vote this evening? mr. mccain: i have no objection to moving other amendments while i'm doing that, none whatsoever. mr. durbin: both sides of the aisle, i hope we can work to accomplish that. mr. mccain: we have to ask our leader, but yes, that's fine. our two leaders say it's fine. thank you. mr. dodd: and i thank the senator from arizona. and we have senator sanders' pending amendment, which i think we have reached a lot of consensus on. i'd like to see us get a vote on it. i know there are some issues that -- i won't mention it at all, but my hope is our colleagues might let us go to this. is there any chance of that at all? would someone get back to me? well, i would move -- i would move the sanders' amendment. the presiding officer: is there sufficient second? there appears to be.
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mr. dodd: is there a sufficient second? the presiding officer: there is not a sufficient second. mr. sanders: point of order? how many hands do you need up? the presiding officer: we need 20. the presiding officer: the order of the yeas and nays does not force a vote on the amendment. ordering the yeas and nays does
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not force a vote on the amendment. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: is quorum is not present. the majority leader is recognized.
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mr. reid: -- presence of absent senators. the presiding officer: question is on the motion. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. vote: vote:
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over 40 and three and over 85,
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playing great. >> our basketball i.q.s are always raised when we feature hubie brown. hubie and mike tirico will have the call at 8:00 eastern on espn. hubie, enjoy the game. thanks so much for joining >> always a pleasure. >> rcus >> after three unproductive and highly paid seasons, the oakland raiders have released former number-one overall pick jamarcus russell. c the decision comes less than two weeks after oakland acquired jason campbell from the redskins to take over at quarterback. let there be no doubt that so far jamarcus russell is theere worst quarterback ever taken with the number-one overall pick in the draft, going 7-18. his winning percentage, .280,e, which is the worst ever for a te q.b. taken first. he spent just three seasons with the raiders. with more now on the raiders cutting jamarcus russell, we rus bring in the perspective of john and, john, what triggered then. raiders to finally pull the plug? >> well, the team was ready to
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do it last week. the but al davis decided to take one more chance to see him at theecd minicamp, which they had last weekend. cthey and they saw a good practice on friday, and they saw some of the mistakes he made on the fieldes saturday, sunday.rday so what they did is reevaluate this week, and al finally al decided it was time to make the decision to go. he liked what he saw of jasono o campbell as the potential starting quarterback, and witheu the quarterback position good, it was matter of when you cut jamarcus russell.ll so with the fact they owed him $3 million more, if he stayed in the off season program and got hurt, it would cost them another $6 million.n they decided now was the timeses because he wasn't getting any better.ou it was just time to cut the cord. >> okay. so jamarcus russell is out of oakland. what's his next move?rs f will there be any takers for this guy? >> i think it may take a little bit of time because now you have to find a coach-driven team witt an offensive mind that's going to say, okay, we'll takein jamarcus, make him a third quarterback, work with him, try to take advantage of the great throwing ability that he has, but try to work on the mechanicl to a point where he can look off
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cornerbacks.ork and i don't know if there will be anybody wanting to put that energy in him now.know you do get a young guy with a great talent.nt. i mean, this guy has one of the best pure arms in the league,msi but the problem is work ethic.oe that's what cost him the job in oakland.oa now can they turn that work ethic around? tur obviously in the next case he'll be a little bit more serious, h' but who that next team is going to be, it's in question right now. >> we love your opinion, when we think of biggest nflexn. draft busts, we think of guys like ryan leaf, but is jamarcus russell, has he now rus overtaken leaf as the biggest draft bust in nfl history?as >> i'd still say leaf would be even more disappointing becauseo i think that he came out of a system in washington state where he had just a great ability to pass. you know, jamarcus was going to take a little bit of time, and obviously that time went very quickly. i'd still have leaf over russell as a mistake, one of the greatest mistakes in nflke history, but clearly when you'r talking quarterback, he's the top two or three because he's
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the fastest top pick ever released. >> before i let you go, john, i have to ask you, what are your feelings about lawrence taylor on this day? >> very saddened, because just like yourself, we all root for lawrence because of the memories we have of him rushing from the edge, in some ways living from the edge, but all the great memories.thth because when you watched giants' game, you didn't watch the defense. you watched number 56.ways your eyes just revolved around him because he was able to do so many you hope that he's able to at least clean up his life. he's obviously done reasonably well for the last ten years, but this is major mistake.e this is a major misstep, and you worry where this is heading.'se. >> l.t. brought many smiles to millions of giants' fans with those two super bowl victories. john clayton, thank you. >> thanks. >> updating you, game four in montreal. penguins looking to grab a 3-1 lead. canadiens scoring on a very impressive goal by tom pyatt.
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not impressive was marc-andre fleury. bad angle, right through his leggings. the penguins right away responded, tying the game. talbot on a breakaway through the legs of halak. the penguins just went ahead on a power play goal. it looks like chris koonan with the naked eye beat halak again. it's now 2-1 pittsburgh. not good for the montreal fans sitting there watching. coming up, tiger woods, how did he do in the first round of the tpc? wendi nix will join us for a report. she watched it all. stay tuned. >> espnews is delivered to you by: can we turn the a.c. up? i'm dying back here.
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>> pro football hall of famer lawrence taylor has been arrested and charged with third-degree rape of a 16-year-old girl, also charged with patronizing a prosecute. he was arraigned this afternoon and released on $75,000 bail. the oakland raiders cut the cord on former number-one overall pick jamarcus russell after three unproductive and highly paid seasons in silver and black. russell's career has been hampered by a rookie holdout, poor work habits and being overweight. first round of the tpc. your leader is j.b. holmes and
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robert allenby. both at minus six. tiger woods, phil mickelson both at minus two after first-round 70s. tiger three birdies and one bogey. it came on 18 for him on this day. the last four times phil and tiger played in the same event, phil has done better, three wins and second place. >> rapid recap is brought to you by: >> joining us to talk about day one of the tpc, wendi nix from tpc sawgrass. let's start with tiger woods as he was trying to bounce back from missing the cut. last week at quail hollow. did you notice any changes or adjustments in his game heading into today because it looked like he was finding the fairway
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a lot more often than a week ago. >> it's interesting, linda, there were so many reports leading up to today that his practice rounds were disastrous, which is difficult to tell because you don't know what players are working on. tiger said he felt good heading into today. he started off solid. you could tell his confidence grew as he went around the course. he called today a grind, and i think that's because this golf course was very gettable today. it was playing about as easy as it's going to play. it will dry out through the weekend. tiger felt like he left some birdies out there. he made three, just one bogey, that was after hitting a tee shot on 18 into the water. all in all i would call it satisfactory. he's happy to take his two under 70 and head into tomorrow, especially the way he finished up last friday at quail hollow. >> it appears from the naked eye just watching it as a golf fan he was rather cautious. what do you think, considering he missed the cut a week ago, what do you think his goal is for this tournament? >> i don't think there's any question that his goal this week is the same as it is every week,
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and that's to win golf tournaments. having said, that he pointed out as soon as he came off the course, look, i played six competitive rounds in seven months. people are going to have to be more realistic with their expectations. i am behind. i haven't had the competition leading into this tournament. i haven't had the competition leading into the masters. so i think he's realistic. i also think he's a competitor, and though he could lose hit the week, he's still the world's number one golfer and you cannot count him out. >> glad you brought that up. phil mickelson ended with a first-round 70. >> nice segue. >> a lot of talk here and a lot of talk where you are about left yes's chances to take over that number-one ranking for the first time in his career if he wins this week and tiger finishes out of the top five. wendy, i ask you, who is feeling the most pressure here, tiger or phil? >> well, you know, i think they both are professionals, and i think they have both played in very big tournaments. i don't think mickelson is feeling the pressure. he's down played it.
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there is no question he'd like the take over that top spot from tiger woods. he's never been the number-one golfer in the world. he didn't have it today. you could tell that from the get go. he said that. so he too was pleased with the two under 70 because he said to shoot that when i clearly don't have it and not knock myself out of contention, i'll take it. if i had to choose, i'd say tiger is feeling a bit more pressure because everybody wanted to hit the panic button last week after quail hollow. he's trying to prove so many things and deal with so many issues off the course. there's probably some pressure there, but in general he too seemed very relaxed coming off the course this afternoon. >> tiger woods, phil mickelson both four strokes off the lead. wendi nix reporting from tpc sawgrass, thanks. >> you're welcome. >> top stories straight ahead. hall of famer lawrence taylor arrested and accused of rape. we'll talk to kelly naqi who is in new york with the latest details. just ten bucks each, so we could get all the kids at our son's sleepover their favorite.
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>> hi, everybody and welcome to a night of baseball on masn. the orioles opening a four-game series in minneapolis against the twins. three consecutive losses in new york. i don't think we're doing enough to help the team. >> i think we need a new guy on the show, a new voice. do you have anyone in mind? >> i think i have just the right guy. >> i'm brian roberts and i am the new guy and "o's xtra" starts right now! >> well, the class of the show already on the rise as the orioles are in minneapolis taking b.p. the birds get their first look at brand-new target field as the road trip continues and miguel tejada is red hot. the first of four against the twins and the pitching match-up tonight is a battle of right- handers as brad bergesen won
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last sat against the white sox and he'll go against the veteran karl pavano. welcome in. brian roberts leer as our guest analyst tonight. we're happy to have him. we haven't seen much of you of late. the fans are really wondering how you're doing and when you might get back? >> i don't know. that is kind of the million dollar question i have been asked a lot, certainly recently, and the doctors, they have me on a great physical therapy program. we're working and making progress. unfortunately i just don't have a final date right now. my back is feeling a lot better, but unfortunately the disk injury and the nerve injury is something they say will really just heal over time and there is really nothing you can do to speed that whole process up. right now we're just trying to be patient, keep my body in shape enough to when the time is right, i'll get back out there. >> what have the doctors told you about the stolen base on april 9 when you re-aggravated
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the injury and when you might get back to baseball soon? >> well, the stolen base obviously that was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back. i was already having a little bit of trouble coming out out spring training. i wasn't feeling great, but i was trying to play through it. i felt like i could play every day, but the pounding on my body when my body hit the ground, especially that dive right there. my back went into a position where it really aggravated the herniated disk and the nerve and that was the setback that put me where i am right now. i really want to get back to try to play and unfortunately it didn't work out the way that we had hoped. >> brian, let's talk a little bit about the ball club. coming out of spring training i think everybody realized that this team and itself was much more talented than any team we've really had here over the last 10, 12 years. what are some of thes going on in the clubhouse. the team is underachieving, but they must talk among themselves about what think have to do to
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get it right. >> we do certainly talk in the clubhouse. we talk about what we need to do to kind of get this ship righted and what kind of direction we want to go as a team. we did come out and we really felt like we had a good ball club. we felt like offensively we were going to be able to do some thins. and tejada with matt wieters having a year under his belt and adam jones and all of these guys. we were excited about the outlook on the season. unfortunately it hasn't gotten off to the start we had hoped. the guys are battling. we have run in to kind of a buzz saw these last 12 games and you run into all of the guys, and it doesn't get any easier in this division unfortunately. but the guys are confident. guys are still battling and we're hoping to get this thing turned around. >> let's talk about your job in particular. the team has struggled to find a lead-off hitter and you have been one of the premier lead- off hitters in baseball ever since you got the regular job. what is it that is so different about being that guy? >> well, i think the hardest
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part is just getting acclimated to it. when i first got called up, grady anderson was leading off, and i wasn't to begin with and i was hitting in the two hole when i got moved to the lead- off spot the next year. it was difficult for me, too. it is an adjustment. you have to learn how to work the count, but you also have to prove that you can go out there and do damage from the lead-off spot that is one of the things that i think as my career got a couple of years in, i learned when i can be aggressive, when to take pitches, what those were and how to get your ball club going in certain directions. when your team is lot, you can swing at the first pitch. when your team is struggling, you might have to take a step back and get in another direction, whether it be a walk or whatever that might be. so it is something that it is difficult to grow into. the guys that are doing it right now haven't had a whole lot of experience and unfortunately it probably hasn't worked out as well as we'd like. >> following the game in new york yesterday, the orioles made a roster move concerning the bullpen as alberto castillo
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has been sent back to triple-a new york and koji who injured his hamstring in spring training, he has finally got ton the point where he is healthy enough to contribute. what is he going to bring to the orioles' bullpen. >> kl well, koji brings versatility the our bullpen. we know he can start. he started with us last year when he came over from japan. he had some injuries towards the end of the year and wasn't able to pleat the rest of the season. you can throw limb in and he can give you three innings. he is going to throw strikes. right there you see a great slider. he uses all of his pitches. he can also close coming out of japan in 2007, he had 32 saves in japan. so you can also throw him in late in the game and that is the start of thing you need in your bullpen. we don't have the lights out bottom of the ninth guy right now so guys are going to have to fill in different roles an koji brings that to our bullpen. >> tonight, the first of four. time for the spotlight presented by just for men and
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tonight miguel tejada has the edge. a six-game liting streak, .435 average with a home run. he has three rbi's and he has gone eight consecutive games without an error. you can keep your edge as well with just for men mustache and beard. when we come back, we're going to check in with amber. is ryan hughes creating a first base controversy? if he keeps hitting, he will. "o's xtra" continues on masn! helping achievers borrow with an eye towards the future. pnc. for the achiever in us all.
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"o's xtra" is brought to you by -- and the weather tonight in minneapolis as the orioles play outdoor baseball, wow. 53 degrees. it was 83 here in baltimore today. just a slight breeze. game time forecast is cloudy with a 70% chance of rain. of course since ryan hughes was promoted from triple-a,ened he added a spark a little bit, but is there a legitimate battle going on for playing time in at- bats at first base? for more on that we're going to head out to target field and
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welcome in amber. ryan hughes really lit the ground run flag the big leagues. he hit safely in his first three games, but he is quickly learning that it is difficult to hit consistently in the big leagues. that is what he is focusing on now. he told me he is amazed at how the red sox pitchers changed their approach to him from the first series to the second series. so he is really trying to get acclimated. he is doing a pretty good job of swinging the bat, but he is competing with garrett atkins. both have been platooning at first base. garrett's bat has gotten very hot and i asked ryan if he feels he is competing against him for playing time or against garrett. >> as a team, for us, we need garrett and he has been swinging the bat really well lately. i'm just going to try to take advantage of all of the opportunities i get so i can do the same thing, try to be consistent. and have good at-bats, play well on the field and do what i can when i'm out there on the field, not only hitting, but defensively just to help the team win also. but garrett, she a big part of this team. he is a really good hitter. he has been swinging the bat
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really well lately and i hope he continues to do so. >> and having to first basemen that can hit is a problem that dave trembley wants to have. >> it is a very good problem to have. if we can both swing the bat well, i think it is a great problem for our team to have. and i think both of us, we'll be able to produce and help the team in our own way and everything. so, like i said, he is swinging the bat well, and i will do what i can to help out also. >> and all right. so how do the numbers match up? well, you can take a look there. garrett atkins has had twice the number of at-bats as ryan hughes, but the numbers are fairly similar. garrett atkins, his average has been rising. he had a very good series in new york. so we'll see how that plays out. both are in the lineup today. and an interesting note, jim and rick. there have been no home runs from either first baseman, at first base at all has not produced a already for the i.r.s. so i'm sure whoever starts putting a little power into the lineup might have a little bit of an edge because that is a position you want to have some
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power in. >> amber, thank you very much. let's get a look at the orioles' lineup. as amber mentioned, bet atkins and hughes are in there. atkins has hit in three straight games. adam jones is back in there after being scratched yesterday. miguel dehadda in the clean-up spot. 3-6 and three rbiys in his career against karl pavano. ryan hughes at first and nolan reimold and caesar izturis round it out. the key man all of a sudden is nick markakis because he is on some kind of a tear. >> i think nick is just being nick. i think early on in the season when he experienced a little bit of a slump, it was unusual for him and he started to keep his hands inside the ball, look to hit the ball up the middle, look to hit the ball the opposite way. i know he expected to hit more home runs this year because he is a lot stronger and more powerful, but you have to go with your swing now and that is something that is really putting him back on track. i think later on in the season you're going to see him with that swing there where you're going to become more consistent than hitting the ball out of the ballpark. i think right now you have to
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stick to what is working and that is staying inside the ball. >> in the meantime, matt wieters has discovered his power stroke for a couple of home runs. it is interesting where he bats in the lineup and how it affects his production. if he is one through four, he is batting third and he is batting just .114. and look at that, at six or lower, .459. brian, when you have a young hitter like wieters, why would that matter so much? >> i really don't know to tell you the truth. when i was young i hit mostly in the same spot, first or second. i don't think you'll see matt wet neither the six through nine hole very often throughout his career. he'll be in the one, two, three or five hole throughout most of his career. the power is coming from both sides of the plate. the one thing we love about matt is he has great hands at the plate. he is one of the guys that we talked about in the dug-out that just knows how to get hits. you saw it in the minor leagues. and the power is going to come. that is one of the things that we have talked about over time. that comes from the younger players and even now he is
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beginning to show some f that. >> and he has markakis ahead of him and tejada. i think he is going to get a couple of pitches to hit tonight. here is the minnesota lineup that brad bergesen will face. and has he become a player in that lead-off spot. his on-base percentage at new target field is .527. more know slides into the three spot. what can you tell us about him? >> justin is one of the more perennial hitters in all of baseball. for four straight years he drove in 100 rbi's and won the mvp, and he hits lefties, righty. last season it was unfortunate to see him go down towards the end of the year and miss the playoffs. he battled back from a back injury all winter, did some relab and he is off to a tremendous start in 2010. obviously going intoman. with mauer out, more know is
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the one guy who you can't let beat you on this ball club and he can beat you at any time with the long ball or with a base hit. >> you know all about justin morneau. who is the better player, you or him? >> he has the mvp trophy sitting on his mantle. it is definitely him. >> and put more know in the lead-off spot. i like him there! >> and he has a couple of things on his resume. the upcoming schedule as the orioles are in the final stop of this two-city road trip a night game tomorrow and back-to- back day games on the weekend. the first time this year the orioles will have that situation with back-to-back day games, an then the orioles are home for a day off on monday opening up a three-team home stand on tuesday night with seattle and night games against the mariners tuesday, wednesday and thursday. when we come back on "o's xtra" presented by ford, brian roberts, the new guy, breaks down the second baseman in the a.l. east. "o's xtra" continues on masn!
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>> that one towards left center field got a chance. this may be railroad-breaking double. brian roberts is on his way to second and there it is. number 56. he has broken lance berkman's record for doubles in a season by a switch hitter with 56 on the year. another baseball to take home to the shelf. >> and welcome back, everybody, on "o's xtra." major league doubles leader 2004 to the present. brian roberts has more doubles, 279 since opening day in 2004 than any other hitter in the major leagues, and that guy behind him, he is son his way to the hall of fame, jimmy rollins on a world series contender. miguel and mark teixeira. so brian roberts, 279 doubles out of that lead-off shot. last year he led the american league in base hits. when you're on the team and when you're healthy, second base has become an offensive- minded position. ty wigginton can keep his bat
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in the lineup. he has been playing at second base. what have you seen of ty so far and how has he handled split. >> i have been excited to see wiggy come into his own. he work sod hard this winter and you love to see guys get an opportunity to play. he came over here last year. he thought he was going to play more outfield. this year he went down with an injury. and he lost about 15 pounds this winter, and you're seeing that hard work begin the pay off. and obviously he has nine home runs, 17 rbi's right now. and for three straight years he hit 20-plus home runs. so it is not like he doesn't have any pedigree in the big leagues. and right now in our organization, it is the first time he is getting to play consistently and it is starting to pay off for him and for our team. >> it is really amazing how over the last couple of years in the a.l. east how the power at second base has turned around, and pedroia hit home runs and you hit 15 last year and robinson cano, the yankees, he is setting a new standard. >> he is a tremendous hitter. obviously he's really beginning to come into his own. i talked to him when they were
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here for the series. they were really working on trying to shorten his swing, which you would say is pretty scary considering last year he hit .320 with 90 rbi's. right now he is hitting .362. i don't know how much better he can get. he is hitting lefties, righties, hitting for power, driving in runs, and he just has tremendous hands. he has really turned into one of # best offensive players in all of major league baseball. when you look at the second base position, he is really starting to up the antefor everybody. we're going to have to pick up our games. >> and we haven't even mentioned aaron hill of the blue jays who led his team in home runs last year and that is because the talent is up and down in this division. just excellent at second base, and dustin pedroia. here is a guy who has won an mvp already the his career and on that team sometimes he is overshadowed. >> yeah. certainly early on in his career i think he was overshadowed in bostonment right now he is not overshadowed in that lineup. he is the man in the lineup.
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when he came up in 2007, he is one of those guys that really drives thrivers on when people tell him he can't do anything. he went on to win the rookie of the year. his swing is so short. you see him make the tremendous pitch there with the game on the line. he pulls his hand in with the line drive. he has a gold glove. and he turns the double play just as well asfully second baseman. and he always get as hit. and he is fun to be around. he is fun to watch plays. he has a great time at the ballpark and he is just that guy that unfortunately you don't want to pull for, but you have to because he works so hard, he plays the game so hard and unfortunately at this point he is still good. >> let's get a look at our web poll question of the day. the web poll question there every day. vote all during the game and we'll have the results for you on "o's xtra" post-game. who is the best second baseman in the american league this season so far? and brian was injured in the fourth game, so he's only had four games. ty wigginton, aaron hill.
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pedroia, cano or brig flak of tampa bay. get on line new and vote on and rick and i will have the results for you on "o's xtra" post-game. check out brian roberts' video blog. we haven't been a guest on your video blog and now you're interviewing people. >> and brian hughes was the first guest we had so we're kind of working our way around. hopefully i'll get more of my teammates. we're having a good time with brian's blog on so check it out. we'll be experimenting all season long with different things. >> major league baseball lost another legend today as the hall of fame pitcher robin roberts passed away at the age of 83. roberts pitched for the orioles late in his career, 1962-1965 and a young teammate of his at the time was hall of famer jim palmer. jim palmer's statement today, robin roberts was a hall of famer on and off the field. his work with young oriole pitchers who might ultimately take his job was invaluable. and he told me as a 19-year-old rookie, you a great fastball and i hope you're smart enough to know a good fastball is the
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best pitch in baseball. palmer went on to say that robin roberts was the con sue mat mentor. he was outgoing, and he set the standard for greatness that we all aspire to achieve. i can't say enough about what he meant to me and the young oriole pitchers that he influenced. robin roberts passed away today, the hall of fame r, at the age of 83. . buy a $25 gift card and get $5 off a future visit. .
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"o's xtra" is brought to you by your local ford dealers. quality, safety and fuel economy and technology are at their best at your local ford dealer. visit mid click ford to learn more. the orioles are in minnesota. their first look at brand flu target field and brad bergesen is on the mound for the orioles. the first four starts of 2009 he was 1-0 with an e.r.a. of 4.98. through his first four starts of this season interrupted by a trip back to triple-a, 1-2 with
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an ear a. ear of 10.57. what are you seeing of brad bergesen and what does he have to do to get back to the effectiveness of last season? >> i don't know if this is brad bergesen, the guy i saw pitched last year. obviously he has not found his release point yet and this is the key to a sinker ball pitcher. he has to get on top of the ball and make the ball sink. that has not happen sod far this somebody and i think that's why you see that big, fat e.r.a. and auto lot of fly balls. when he finds his release point, the thing that is going to be telling you, ground balls, ground balls. too many fly balls off the bat, and that's is the reason why they're hitting a lot more doubles and home runs off of him. once he gets on top and gets it down, he is going to be back on track. >> the other side tonight for minnesota, the veteran karl pavano will go to the monday as he faces the orioles and pavano, the longest active streak of allowing less than four walks per start. 73.
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he is obviously a control pitcher. what does he bring to the mound against the orioles? >> you're right. first and foremost, she veteran guy. he signed a big contract in new york. he didn't live up to expectations, had injuries. he went toman minnesota and is off to a great start in the first half of this year. he is not going to be himself. he is not going to walk you. he developed a really good split-finger fastball which is his out pitch when there are men on base. on base.(.ecl) that's what you're going to have to beat him with, and he does not give you a chance by hurting himself. he holds runners well. the running game is not really a big aspent when he is pitching. so he is one of the guys that knows how to get deep mr. the game. there has only been one game where he hasn't gotten past the sixth inning. he has done a great job of getting deep in the game and into their bullpen. >> he has walked only three batters there year and allowed only two home runs. you have to really earn it against him. >> you do. if he is not walking guys and not giving up home runs, he is obviously making quality pitches down in the zone. and just like quick said
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aboutbergy wlarks we're looking for him, quality pitches down in the zen and pavano is doing a great job this year. >> and so what do you think? is the new guy going to help? >> brian, you have done an unbelievable job. it took me two years to get where you are! >> i can't play baseball. i have to do something. >> it has to be driving you crazy. >> i'd like go take your spot. i don't think i can do it. >> i can't do anything. >> and ladies and gentlemen, brian roberts. we hope to have him back soon. but as he said earlier, no timetable as of yet, but he is working very hard to get back at it. we -- hopefully it was fun for you as well. >> it was, and now let's hopefully bring some luck to the o's out at target field. >> and the second as a chiropractor. >> if the team has a big night, the crow is going to make you come back tomorrow. if the team hits well tonight, he is going to say it is because of you. stand by. gary thorne thorn and mike flanagan are standing by. so long, brad bergesen on the
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