BILL MOYERS: John Reed and many others say they were taken by surprise when the country’s biggest financial institutions went bust in 2008. But it wasn’t as if they hadn’t been warned.

SENATOR BYRON DORGAN: I believe that when this legislation is enacted…

BILL MOYERS: Remember Byron Dorgan? He sounded the alarm about the dangers of striking down Glass-Steagall. But his concerns were dismissed by Wall Street, by the Clinton White House and most of his own colleagues in Congress. But on the day of the vote, the Senator from North Dakota gave one of the most prescient speeches in our political history.

SENATOR BYRON DORGAN: I worry very much that the fusing together of the idea of banking which requires not just safety and soundness to be successful but the perception of safety and soundness…to merge it with inherently risky speculative activity, is in my judgment unwise. I think we will in 10 years’ time look back and say we should not have done that.

BILL MOYERS: Ten years later, 2008, your prophecy came true. Our financial system came crashing down, and taxpayers, as you had predicted, had to bail out the banks, just as you said we would. What did you know that no one else knew?

BYRON DORGAN: I don't know that I knew something. I felt something very important about all of this. I you know, I had read what went on in the Great Depression, kind of understood what caused a collapse back then, and the unbelievable heartbreak and pain for this country.

Closing of the banks and people losing their jobs and losing hope and so on. Well, we put together a remedy as a result of what had caused the Great Depression, the speculation, the orgy of greed and so on, on Wall Street. The remedy was Glass-Steagall and other protections that said we're going to separate banking from the more risky enterprises -- real estate, securities, insurance. And so, we're not going to let this happen again. And that legislation was passed.

And it lasted for, what, 70 years or so, and worked well for this country. And then, all of a sudden, what happened with this shift politically where those that had capital in this country, Wall Street and others -- had a profound influence on the political class, and said, you know what, we want to change this in our interests. We want to get rid of Glass-Steagall. Let's throw aside these barriers because we want to do what we want to do. And they just caused an avalanche of effort here in Congress to decide we've got to get rid of Glass-Steagall. It's old-fashioned, it hurts America and so on.

BILL MOYERS: That's a great term for it. How did they create an avalanche here in Washington?

BYRON DORGAN: First of all, they have a lot of money. And they're interested in their own financial interests. And so, when they weigh in on something like repealing Glass-Steagall, they have money to advertise. They have money to persuade. They have money to get grass roots support. It became, kind of, a circus in the sense that this was not thoughtful. This wasn't a bunch of people in a room with the best minds in the country thinking what might be the consequences of doing this? If we really thought through what the consequences might be, having gone through a Great Depression once as a result of banks fused with risky ventures?

I don't think it ever became a moment in which really good people sat down and evaluated what are the consequences of this. And one of the reasons for it is the green lights that were signaling at these intersections from the President, Secretary of the Treasury. Key people in Congress were saying, “Let's do this, let's do this, let's do this, Because it will be good for the country.” And it became a chorus of voices from all sides raise in support of repealing Glass-Steagall because it was old fashioned, no longer needed.

It was necessary to be repealed so that we could be competitive with the European banks. Of course, that was all nonsense. All complete nonsense, but they swallowed it hook, line and sinker. And everybody marched right off a cliff and repealed Glass-Steagall. And here we went, you know, we headed right towards an economic disaster.

BILL MOYERS: It had this fancy name. The Financial Services Modernization Act, but its real purpose was to kill these banking protections, right?

BYRON DORGAN: Oh sure. This country's been modernized before by special interests that wanted to get a bigger slice of the pie for themselves. But no matter what they called it here, the Modernization Act, this was the biggest financial interests of the country trying to grab more money for themselves.

They didn't like -- they chafed under regulations. They didn't like regulations. And they were busy creating all kinds of exotic instruments and, you know, credit default swaps, CDOs, I mean, the whole -- the list is endless, and making very big fees, getting unbelievably wealthy doing it, and injuring this country and putting us in the position where we almost saw a complete collapse of the American economy, through the greatest amount of greed, I think, perhaps in the history of the country.

And there's bipartisan responsibility for it. Alan Greenspan bears a significant part of the responsibility, I should say because he sat and watched it all on his hands when he had supervisory responsibility over the investment banks. But the Congress, the president-- what this country did was unthinkable.

BILL MOYERS: As he signed the bill, President Clinton handed the first pen to free market Republican Phil Gramm of Texas, who had worked long and hard to eliminate Glass-Steagall. It was later reported that another pen went to Sandy Weill at Citigroup.

BYRON DORGAN: Somebody ought to track that pen down and destroy it. There's no honor in what that pen did. I think if you were to rank big mistakes in the history of this country, that was one of the bigger ones because it set back this country in a very significant way and caused so much heartbreak and heartache and a near total collapse of the American economy. And it's not surprising what happened when we decided to eliminate the rules and provide a green light to say, do whatever you want to do.

It doesn't -- it just shouldn't have been surprising then, and it's not surprising to me now that we had a whole lot of interests that, you know, made this look like a bunch of hogs at a slop pail, you know, grunting and shoving to see who could get richer quicker. And that was at the expense of the American people.

BILL MOYERS: You said in that speech on the floor that choruses of folks, choirs standing outside the Senate chamber spent their lifetime working to get this done. Who was singing in those choirs?

BYRON DORGAN: Well, it's interesting, you know, it always starts with soloists, but then, that music is joined by a lot of people. And, you know, it was who's who in the financial industry sector saying, “We want all the rules to be gone.” It's very much like what we're hearing today.

I heard it this morning on the radio, the biggest problem in this country they say is regulation. Really? What kind of regulation? They now, you know, all of the mantra with the Republican candidates running for president, we've got to get rid of regulation, got to get rid -- I'm very surprised in the shadow of what happened when we most recently got rid of regulation, I'm very surprised anybody has the willingness to say that publically, and yet they do.

It’s unfathomable to me, Bill, that all of this happened under our noses. So, regulators, members of Congress who were supposed to know what was happening, and who, if they knew, would believe it was okay -- does anybody really, really believe that it is okay for financial institutions in this country to trade tens and tens and tens of trillions of dollars of credit default swaps in which they have no insurable interest on either side, just making wagers, casino wagers?

But, at least in casinos they have bright lights so you can see what they're doing. You know, I mean, these financial institutions at Wall Street, you didn't see any spotlights inside of those institutions, so that all of us could see what was happening.

BILL MOYERS: You warned in that speech that if we took this direction, encouraging, allowing mergers and conglomerations, it would create institutions too big to fail.

BYRON DORGAN: Right. That's exactly what happened. And sadly, even though there were institutions too big to fail that had become bigger since the repeal of Glass-Steagall, now, they're even larger as a result of the bailouts, and we still have a too big to fail doctrine because those big financial institutions -- and by the way, they are still gambling today, it isn't shut down.

So, they are bigger than ever. I tried to pass some legislation in Dodd-Frank that says if you are too big to fail, you're too damn big, and you should be broken up. I tried to pass legislation to say it shall be illegal to have naked credit default swaps. You've got to have an insurable interest. Couldn't get either passed.

BILL MOYERS: You're talking about Dodd-Frank passed after the 2008 crash to try to prevent it from happening again, and you're saying it's too weak to prevent another collapse.

BYRON DORGAN: It is. Yeah, I mean Dodd-Frank passed with my vote because it does some good things and moves in the right direction, but it is timid. It doesn't -- if you were going to address the real causes here, you would decide that too big to fail cannot be tolerated. If you're too big to fail, we need to be slicing away at those enterprises and bring them back down to size. And I hope that Congress will begin doing that at some point.

BILL MOYERS: But you don't expect it will really. Even as we speak, Capitol Hill, over your shoulder there, is swarming with lobbyists from Wall Street trying to weaken further an already weakened bill, right?

BYRON DORGAN: Absolutely. And as you know, very quickly Wall Street was made whole. It's just the folks at the other end of the economic ladder that still bear the consequences of this near collapse.

BILL MOYERS: No matter how we slice the numbers, it's a fact that since 1979, 40 percent of the income growth in this country has gone to one percent of the population. And so, that you can hear it said, that we now have government of the one percent, by the one percent, for the one percent. What do you think about that?

BYRON DORGAN: Well, the interesting thing to me about it is that it's not accidental. I mean, this has happened as a matter of public policy, in some cases, very deliberate policy that creates a tax code that says the wealthier you are, the less you pay in income taxes. And the more income you have as a result of netting out your tax payments.

Whereas on the other side, the lower income you are the higher your burden. Well, that's a deliberate policy that says we're not going to have a fair system at all. We're going to weight it favor of the wealthy. Now, how does that happen? It happens because those who are at the top of the income ladder have enormous clout. They have the ability to hire people and have their will in this debate on public policy.

And all the rest of those folks, they don’t have anybody that they’ve hired to say, “Look after my interests.”

And I think history shows that in every country where you have an unbelievable mal-distribution of income, where you have just a few that are very, very, very wealthy, and then, a lot of others who don't have very much, that's not a recipe for having economic growth and opportunity and expansion for all people.

Just, you know, we know what that causes. So, when we see this growing inequality of income, it means our country's headed towards a future in which we won't have the same opportunity generally for the American people that we've experienced in the past.

BILL MOYERS: Senator, I appreciate very much your giving me your time this morning.

BYRON DORGAN: Well, thank you very much, Bill.

BILL MOYERS: It is practically impossible to describe the extent to which our country’s been changed by all this political and financial cronyism. Nonetheless, we’ll be returning to this issue, so critical to our future existence as a democracy, in the weeks and months ahead.

Next week on Moyers & Company, with so much clamor for another war in the Middle East – this time with Iran – I’ll talk with Andrew Bacevich, a professional soldier turned scholar, who cautions us to stop, look, and remember, because every war comes with a terrible cost.

I’m Bill Moyers. See you then.

Byron Dorgan on Making Banks Play by the Rules

Bill Moyers talks with former Senator Byron Dorgan about making sure big banks play by rules that protect consumers from financial calamity, and how those big banks continue to leverage power and influence to avoid responsibility while maximizing profits. Dorgan was a nearly-lone voice in Congress in 1999 when he predicted economic calamity following a repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and its protective measures. But given the economic meltdown nearly 10 years later, it turned out to be one of the most prescient speeches in American political history.

“If you were to rank big mistakes in the history of this country,” Dorgan tells Moyers, “that was one of the bigger ones, because it has set back this country in a very significant way and caused so much heartbreak and heartache, and a near total collapse of the American economy. ”

Dorgan also talks about the economic impact on people at the lower ends of the income ladder, and the weaknesses of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which he felt compelled to sign.

“It does some good things and moves us in the right direction.” Dorgan tells Moyers, “But it’s timid.”

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  • JPT51

    My former Senator Phil Gramm was the investment and banking community point person  eliminating Glass Steagall.  He and his wife, who was on the Board at Enron, both belong behind bars.  They are rich and untouchable but in the end they will have a lot to answer for.

  • GCR

    I am grateful you present on both sides, for and against, but use fact to do so.  Politicians are bought on both sides of the aisle.
    I post this to those who love Ron Paul and his no regulation ideal.
    Pick any game, checkers to football.  Now eliminate all the rules.  Choose 3 friends and play the game.  Let us know what happens.
    The point is: without rules, there is no game at all.

    No Paul supporter has ever responded with a report on play.  They have told me politics and business are not games.

  • broche

    I just viewed your show about Byron Dorgan and the retired banker who fully explained how the banks gambled our trillions of dollars of money from banking transactions and lost it all. The full story was explained beautifully and we should all be appolled the bankers are still in power to do the same gambling while continueing to get outrageous bonuses.

    They should all be in jail. This video should be mandatory viewing by all college economist/accounting students and especially all congresman. Have them sign a pact that they would never again sign a bill eliminating this type of regulation.

    How do we get impartial intelligent representives in congress that are primarily concerned with the future of our country rather than their own selfish interests (insider trading tips) and getting reelected.

    It’s clear that BIG MONEY will only serve the selfish interest of those with big money.  With all that money being thrown around during election time, it should be no surprise that political/business cronyism is inevitable. At what point will we get totally discusted and demand change.

  • Canvas4wk

    Awesome conversation with Byron Dorgan!

    James 5:1-6 (NIV)

    Warning to Rich Oppressors

    1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the
    misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten
    your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify
    against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last
    days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are
    crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of
    the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You
    have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and
    murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

  • Frank Lucatelli

    It comes as no surprise to me that a former Senator like Bryon Dorgan, who had the foresight to see financial trouble coming ten years ago, comes from the State of North Dakota, the home of the only State Bank among the fifty states. The Bank of North Dakota has clung to prudent banking principles and is not implicated in any of the current banking financial fiasco. If only our national government were as wise as the North Dakotans have been regarding the stewardship of our nation’s wealth.

  • Anonymous

    Nice indictment of both World Oligarchy and its thug, American Empire.

  • Anonymous

    So you think this one little video would adjust the colonized minds of doctoral candidates in economics? Not bloody likely. They continue to sleepwalk in a jackpot dream. 

    And it is even less likely to sway politicians on the take. To change they’d have to admit their criminality.

    There will have to be an uprising of the People that overthrows both government  and business as usual, leaving the brainwashing educational system adrift. And if we can’t do it the aquarium in which we exist can only get dirtier until it kills us.

    So many Moyers viewers reach blindly for their slippers under the bed, stroll to get a wake-up from a programmed coffee maker and drift on autopilot as much as possible throughout the day. What happens when they tumble from bed to find the floor, kitchen, bathroom and money  gone? The thrasher is only miles away! I have two wooden shoes I’ll throw at its works. “I was not an Occupier; so I didn’t speak up. And when the drones targeted my family, no one defended us.”

  • Anonymous

    Molly Ivins used to say, “There are at least 17 sides to every conflict.”  
    The Paulists are by and large the most predatory and opportunistic part of the commercially minded segment of our population. Their only concern is their present and future property, maybe their gun dealings second.
    The Demipubs represent  only the 1%, even Byron Dorgan most of the time. I didn’t hear him screaming to cap wealth  and income: which is now my measuring criterion for politicians. He spotted the structural liability in banking because he was the last vestige of institutional memory. (Now that’s what conservatism means.)

  • Anonymous

    It was many years after the Nazi defeat that war criminals continued to be hunted and tried. Maybe  
    Mossad has the expertise to cage old Phil and Wendy Lee?  Maybe if Israeli Intelligence  had a worthy mission they’d lay  off Iran.

    Hey, JPT51, did you vote for Gramm?
    Don’t feel bad if you did because I supported Obama.

  • Anonymous

    Are you from ND, Frank?
    I hear they’ll have oil for a little while, and then bust.

  • Anonymous

    Where in the world did this come from?

  • HHH

    I noticed during the conversation that the comments were made that, The people have nobody lobbying for them. Isn’t that what our elected officials suppose to be? Our representatives? If they are not doing this then they should not be in office masquerading as our representatives. None of this will stop until the money is taken out of politics. We are between a rock and a hard spot right now, our government is bought and owned on both sides of the aisle. Decent representatives like Sen. Dorgan no longer have a voice in this cesspool filled with sharks we call Washington.

  • Anonymous

    Nice to know there still is some hearty stock among us.

  • leftofcenter

    Two guest suggestions for you. Bill Rogers (co-founder of the Quantum Fund with George Soros) and Dr. Steve Keen in Sydney. He’s an economist who says that the neoclassical school people are deliberately misleading people with false information.

    One key point that both make? The debt can never be repaid. Therefore, write it off. Nationalize and recapitalize the banks until the system becomes stable (as firms who need to go bankrupt do). Then, start over.

    Aside from RT and rarely on CNBC, I’ve never seen either one anywhere else. If you can get either one on, I’ll be impressed.

  • Anonymous

    I am deeply puzzled and, I think as I recall the lost post alarmed and offended, that this was edited. There may have been emotional content, but I recall that valuable observations were made. If the moderators have any free speech concerns I’d appreciate it if we could discuss this at

    Language style and framing is a big part of forming and altering political opinion. (My point is reinforced by the work of George Lakoff.) I value Moyers&Company because it breaks the habitual political  scenarios in which all of our minds are to a degree trapped. If the moderators persist in carrying the habitual frames forward without deviation, then no change in opinion or learning can occur. It is obvious to we who are risking our lives to dissent that language and free discourse are key to the public gaining greater control of the prevailing narratives. If Frank Luntz were interviewed by Bill and he began by saying, “You are ignoring the elephant in the room,” you moderators might not  understand he had just insulted and threatened Mr. Moyers. Language isn’t magic but brains are habitual structures based on the body form and daily interactions with others. Linguistics has reached a scientific sophistication where it can be weaponized by callous interests. If empathetic interests are to verbally resist they cannot be straitjacketed by 
    enforcers with a militant sense of marketing. To succeed it would be necessary that the moderators on this site be linguistically and politically sophisticated and emotionally attuned to the Moyers mission of empathy, fairness and justice. 
    When the frames of reference are being transcended it can seem messy but I do think we can learn to handle the transition. Careless censorship will not cut it. 
    Now, will a moderator be “editing” my observation?

    I will go so far as to claim that Byron Dorgan’s prescience of predicting TBTF in 10 years was ignored by much of the audience because it was improperly framed. Conversely, the post you censored easily gained my attention. Consider that.

  • Anonymous

    You censored a person who drew an analogy to present injustice from a Biblical reference in the New Testament Book of James (Chapter 5, verses 1-6 NIV)  often referred to by theologians as “The Warning to Rich Oppressors.” I would think Bill Moyers and Byron Dorgan would both approve of the scripture considering their indignation at the corporate coup which has befallen us. I have no knowledge of the poster or his/her motives, but I would assume they know their Bible. (or some mentor does)

  • Anonymous

    James 5:1-6, New Testament, Holy Bible

    Next: A Koranic admonition against usury?

  • David Kennedy

    Mr. Moyers, I’m astounded by 2 things.  Bryon Dorgan said he was amazed that the republican candidates wanted to erase regulation.  He missed the point.  Most of the candidates want Glass-Steagall.   You need to talk to Bill Clinton about that one.   Second,  You miss the point.  We are not a democracy.  We’re a republic.  It makes me sick to hear most of today’s politicians and yourself using the word democracy.  The founding fathers loathed a democracy.    I believe it is intentional!  Politicians want the ability to live above the rule of law.  If they can fool enough people then they defeat the Constitution.  The kicker is the rule of law!  You look uneducated when you use “that” word!  Jon Corizine proves the point.  If your democracy let’s you off the hook then you don’t have to face the “Rule of law”!  You can ask Obama about that!

  • Anonymous

    Definitions that control our lives should not be gleaned from some Texas approved Political Science textbook but be derived by consensus of informed citizens in a participatory role. None of the Presidential candidates sincerely advocate for either the Volcker Rule or reinstatment of Glass Steagall or equivalent. At this late date we’ll require far more than a banking firewall to correct wealth and income concentration. The Funding Fathers could never have foreseen this eventuality so document fundamentalism is just wrongheaded today. No sane person cares what some land speculators, slavemasters and Indian murderers who’ve been dead 200 years intended. If watching Moyers makes you so sick then get a dishpan and purge yourself clean of mental colonization, and we’ll see you right back here next week.

  • Anonymous

    Those are the smartest glam-girls I’ve ever seen on RT. “I’m Frazzlie; I’m Dazzlie; I’m Sparklie- tweet us, don’t watch Fox and cheat on us.”

  • Jhpittsford3

    The industrialization of our political process must stop! The continual election cycle must end.
    The Constitution should be changed in a manner that would allow only citizens, to lobby their legislator only.
    No representation without taxation!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the reference/source.

  • David Kennedy

    You must have been listening to Madonna when the debates were aired….or maybe you we’re confused and started to read your book on the “funding fathers”.   The founding fathers did see the demise.  That’s why they installed the rule of law.   The Constitution works fine when it’s tied to a massive penalty for tyranny.  And it legally is…the people will get around to enforcing it.   Re-instituting Glass Steagall with the rule of law and a gold standard is more then enough to keep your crack free of some twisted cotton….add the destruction of the Federal Reserve and you get peaches.   Both parties are idiots with the exception of  Ron Paul.   This argument has nothing to do with if they’re lying.  Both parties are quite apt at that.  It has to do with a Senator that is twisting words….just like all the others.  It really doesn’t matter if the system is communist, socialist, or a republic.  Human nature is the same.  They all abuse their subjects….until the subjects dust off the  scale of justice.  Americans legally have that option.   This Republic has the potential to renew itself.  Well, unless you have a congress, both parties, and a president that relieve their bladder’s on the Bill of rights with a thing  like NDAA 1021/1031.   The potential is still there….It’s now more costly to demand freedom.  Isn’t it amazing….Obama reinstitues slavery?   Your support of Democracy lends itself to the demise of individual freedom.  Go sing kumbaya with the 51% and demand your free cheese! 

  • Frank Lucatelli

    No, I am not from North Dakota. I just like calling attention to people and institutions that put service to a higher purpose above self-serving.

  • St. Jude

    Dorgan said that we have public policy that weighs in favor of the wealthy “because those who are at the top of the income ladder have enormous clout. They have the ability to hire people and have their will in this debate on public policy. And all the rest of those folks, they don’t have anybody that they’ve hired to say, ‘Look after my interests.'”
    The only way that this can be true is if: (1)there are POLITICIANS that can be bought/influenced by that wealth, and (2) “all the rest of those folk” – i.e., the 99% – continue to hire/vote for the “bought” politicians who continually fail to look after those folk’s interests.
    We still have the currency of our votes. Unfortunately, the voters who most need enlightenment regarding the wealthy’s influence on their elected representatives are not the kind of folks who watch programs like Moyers and Company. You’re probably preaching to the choir, Bill. Sad.

  • Anonymous

    So, you think Ron Paul is gonna jump up and down demanding a firewall between speculation and accounts banking? And why do you worship the dead who are no smarter than you are? Do you not think that corporations are capable of continuing the negation of Constitutional rights without the aid of the federal government? Libertariaism opens the door to global unaccountability we can not yet imagine. It’s not like President Paul can wave his magic wand and make his gold standard Randism real overnight. 
    And you would still have to find your own customers and meet their needs if you were in business, not keep hauling rolling scams from town to town.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t even get to read this before it was edited, and it was directed at me. Was it dirty? Did he propose to come to my house and smother me with a pillow? Did he call Bill a commie-lover?


    We didn’t at first realize it was a bible reference, not an original comment. Some people communicate in different styles. Thanks for pointing that out. We’re listening.

  • Anonymous

    Would you deposit money in the ND state bank?

  • Anonymous

    A-a-a-and unedited by a moderator. Thank you.
    Thank you very much!


    None of the above, but, as you know, we remove language — whether in original posts or replies — that crosses the line from “making a point” to “hurling an insult”.

  • Anonymous

    I probably resemble his remarks.

  • Anonymous

    Let me be clear. I respect this forum and do not expect to make the rules. These moderators have a difficult task in establishing a proper tone for this blog connected to a new show. The new show is a vital missing link in US media. I would rather be banned than have Moyers&Company harmed in its educational mission. My campaign here is to get people discussing amongst themselves, and to try and re-achieve the level of discourse lost at Bill Moyers Journal Talkback blog.  I am Occupy-minded and have a pov very similar to Chris Hedges. I hope there will be many others like me testing the waters, but not necessarily of the same opinions. Learning and adapting are good things. It takes all caring kinds. And I don’t mind being  kidded and mildly insulted. Joking behavior is normal among friends.

  • Frank Lucatelli

    ND State Bank certainly qualifies as a trustworthy banking institution. So, yes, If such a Bank were available in my state I would definitely use its services, assuming that I had the resources to do so.

  • Anonymous

    Campaign Finance Reform alone corrects nothing. See Truthdig/Hedges for a pertinent discussion with Lawrence Lessig (Creative Commons) and Chris Hedges (Thursday). Corruption is pervasive in every institution, so how can elective politics be hermeneutic?

  • Connie, Orlando

    Bill, I just want to say that I love you & am grateful that we  live in the same time in history.  You are a treasure.

  • Anonymous

    Many reports are out today about how Treasury failed to enforce agreed $500K salary caps on zombie bank executives. Juan Gonzales gives a good summation at Democracy Now (Friday the 27th edition).

  • Joe Mac

    I need to see the graph shown at the end of the show that showed the 1%’s 256% increase. I need to hear what that was all about. Thank you!

  • Puja

    where can I find the speech by Senator Byron Dorgan that Moyers recommends here?

  • AnneLBS
  • Anonymous

    Dear Mr. Moyers and Company
    In all that I hold dear, thank you for your wisdom and guidance in light of our plight, with the illumination of truth.

    pedro santos

    Dear Mr. Moyers and Company

    In all that I hold dear, thank you for your guidance in
    light of our plight with the illumination of truth.


    pedro santos

  • Ebernier6

    Wow! What a lost opportunity to have Byron Dorgan right  there and not ask about the successful  financial situation in North Dakota – The Bank of North Dakota! Low unemployment, loans to businesses, students, mortgages, etc. 

  • Jbogle34

    How do we the people correct this situation?  Is marching going to change things?  Help!!!!!!!!!!

  • Philnothstein

    Bill Clinton destroyed America.

  • Judithentress

    OMG! Please Senator Dorgan, run for President as an Independent!! Are you seriously the only one I have heard speak the truth in all these years? It is so apparent that the masses do not understand what has really happened, and more importantly how it happened. I think that is the shame of how we got where we are. The fact that today, as I listen to other’s talk about how we need to get Obama out of office in order to not crash and burn, I just sit with my mouth agape! They’re missing the point. Big Business is ABSOLUTELY running this country. How do we stop this? I don’t see our salvation coming from another election of the same “business as usual”.

  • Judithentress

    You are so right! If one listens to and is influenced by the rhetoric of our politicians and the voter’s, we will never get out of this. And yes, it’s very sad.

  • eddie

    I often wondered how the Coorporate Rape of america happened; now i know.
        Thank you Mr. Moyers & Sen. Dorgan; Brave & superb.
                                                              Eddie. Boston.

  • Nestledgem

    Byron Dorgan…. you are my hero! As a Canadian very interested in the self implosion of the American ideal, I stand here to applaud your integrity and foresight. You are the epitome of an elected official; one who is invested in the benefit and the grace to all. I am envious of your wife, I would kill to be alongside a man of your stature and humble intelligence. I am in awe. You are to be applauded. 

    You should be cloned, Deb 

  • Ellenfrench

    I just finished watching this very interesting piece. So sorry to then google to find that the dear retired senator is now a ‘policy advisor’ at a major DC lobbying law firm. As his interests are now primarily pharmaceutical and health, I guess he felt comfortable taking some credit for calling out the greed in banking. The irony continues to be painful. Thanks, Bill for trying to at least remind him that the influence peddling is rampant….but too bad you weren’t able to disclose his own sweet deal.

  • TintXX

    What are you jealous that we have resources from ND.  It is there for the long run.  Imagine you like Saudi oil, huh.  They also have the Bakken Oil in other states.  ND re hardworking and honest people, Mr. GreedyLeeHoward.

  • kingbingo909

    Sadly, the super-rich play the super-greedy in Washington  like well-tuned Flamenco guitars, and, when the dance floor finally clears after the next big crash, (think 1929) someone will have to sweep up all the worthless paper off the floor, turn off the lights,  and urge the American people to never forget such a spectacle of  human depravity, and to elect the new candidate: paid-for by the good-old party.

  • TonyinSeattle

    Damn good program tonight.  As part of the 99% I’m pulling my money out of the stock market in order to disable the 1%.  This machine we call 
    Capitalist-Democracy sucks big time.  We all need to get together and level the playing field and get rid of the nuts in D.C.

  • Elle

    Well, what the hell is that compared to the greedy Phil Gram, (where in the hell is he now?) and the institutions as Goldman Sucks who have had their people with Bush, selling phony mortgages, then turning around their bank, and betting against America – that’s real American, huh?    Those people took millions in bailout bonuses, apparently that’s OK for you.  Maybe Bernie Madoff was OK too if people had listened to Byron Dorgan, alot of people wouldn’t have to go through the hell of the last three years.  Apparently you must work on Wall Street and defend all the beyond greedy SOBs there.  How can  you even compare that to the near collapse of America – idiot.

  • Maggie

    Sure he did.  That’s why we had a surplus of money when he left office.  Wake up.

  • Piksnilderf

    We elected them.
    Last round of elections the strongest winners in congress were those that believe in less regulation so business can grow.
    If the electorate is not well-informed, than these problems will continue to recur- And the wealthy beneficiaries of these policuies will continue to laugh all the way to their banksters, at the expense of everyone else.

  • Mary

    You are an unflappable bore to say the least.

  • Piksnilderf

    ‘They have a lot to answer for”…

    but obviously won’t.
    Unless you feel having to play golf with Bush and DeMint is adequate punishment.

  • David Kennedy

    We  stop it by demanding our elected officials live by the rule of law.  That goes from the President down to the most Jr. politicians in Washington.  They are all financially the same….the variations in abortion, guns, gays, and military are only a diversion.  They are all about stealing your money in the end.  Demand politicians serve their country like the military.  No pensions.  No pay increases unless we give it to them.  No lobby bribes. (listen to Ron Paul).  Pay them 38,000.00 per year.  The average American income.  The one’s that serve will be patriots.  Not parasites!  The problem is….they just throw out some freebies and the people say lead me.   This gives the politicians the ability to do as they please without dissent.  It’s hopeless until we hit rock bottom.  Both parties are driving us there.  It’s not about the banks.  It’s about the leaders who are bribed by the banks.  Cut off the politicians and you cut off the banks.  Put the law breakers in jail and the criminals will think twice.  Choose the same old republicans or democrat’s and you chose your demise.   Think about Jon Corizine.  MF global  stole as much as Bernie Madoff and he will walk free.  Why?  The prevailing party in power will let him.  MF Global is this years big bribe!  The republicans had their bribes too.  When you steal from old people investing to survive you deserve the death penalty.  Politicians are more responsible then the banks!  They can stop it!  They choose not to.  They’re the Don’s..the banks are the street thugs.  We are responsible because we keep drinking the kool-aid from both parties!  It’s time to make the republic work as it was designed!  It will eventually…

  • David Kennedy

    I’m not surprised….I heard it when he attacked the republican candidates.  Same ole story.  We’re the good guys…they’re the bad guys.   Funny how that banter changes after every administration yet we’re no better off after either party leaves.  Republicans and democrat’s…keep up the good work!  We’ll hit bottom soon.  Then we’ll have to change.  Cut off the politicians and the banks have no where to go….but jail, with their congressman!

  • David Kennedy

    You keep voting them in.  You got a chance at real change.  You cut off the politicians that allow corporations to write their own bills and you cut off the corporations.  Then the republic works with a few jail terms.  The banks are already preparing for a gold standard.  They’ve bought more gold this year then ever.  It’s not a matter of if it’s coming…it’s when it’s coming.  Bernake says gold is not money.  That’s a joke considering banks can’t get enough. Maybe that’s a clue…. Why do you think Paul is blacked out of the main stream banker backed media?  That’s a no brainer.  The gravy train wants your gravy.  The lobbiest’s don’t even go near his office.  Here’s your choice.  Theives from both party’s who can get things done to steal your money or a chance at real change through the bully pulpit. Both parties have had 16 trillion dollars of chance….and it’s still rising as of a few weeks ago.  Financially both parties are the same.  Everything else is a diversion!  Enough is enough.

  • HHH

    Agree totally, many of our past leaders have emphasized how important it is that people are informed by a unbiased factual media, and we have lost that. Our news anchors just read what ever is put in front of them. Even when they know it is half truths or flat out lies and fabrications. But pay them enough and I guess they’ll sell their souls for it. People have a way of justifying their weaknesses in their mind,,
    I might as well get rich doing it because if I don’t somebody else will and I’ll end up back in small ville making 30,000 a year. It really boils down to a lack of moral character in today’s newsrooms.

  • David Kennedy

    Absolutely right!   Amazing how there are only a few politicians a lobbiest won’t approach.  Ron Paul and such….and the media is blacking him out.  Is that a clue?  Who owns the media?  People will complain about it but not give real change a chance.  Guess they want their freebies more then their freedom.   They get what they deserve.

  • David Kennedy

    Both parties know this financial mess is not going away.  They didn’t pass NDAA 1021/1031, with the President’s signature, to protect us from terrorist’s…they passed it to protect themselves from a french style revolution.  We’re so arrogant how we talk about the arab spring yet we deny a potential, unjustly accused American the right to a fair trial.  And you wonder why the banks can buy off politicians?  Keep following the pied piper of either party!

  • David Kennedy

    The nuts are the people who keep putting the same two party’s back in office.  Funny how no one notices that the financial people in both administrations come from the same place.  You make it so one party has all the power and you are doomed.  You know what…you’re doomed anyway.  16 trillion is not payable…especially since it went up another 1.2 trillion just a few weeks ago.   What are you going to do about it?

  • David Kennedy

    Here’s  what the banks are buying.   This says volumes.  You are not informed. 

  • David Kennedy

    LOL!!!!  Using the ole Faux news thing huh?  That doesn’t make you any more informed.
    Next time you comment on the debates…try watching them first then you’ll be taken seriously.  Otherwise…you’re hot air.

  • David Kennedy

    You need to remove his post’s then…he insults himself.

  • Sane Jane

    There was only a projected surplus which was immediately prevented by Greenspan.

  • Anonymous

    So first you say Paw Paw Paul  (age 78)is the Cat’s pajamas and it’s no use supporting anyone else. Then you say we need to hang on every word of 3 right wing lunatics while your senile hero dances with his lectern. The Republican debates have proven more of a reality show than a forum of information.

    Little kids get fixated on Santa Claus. Lazy minds idealize frauds like Reagan. Now I fear that when the People rightly reject Ron Paul his cadres might start shooting. Many are psychotic fanatics, others placing all their bets on hoarded gold. It might be a good solution if they crossed into Mexico, like the polygamous Mormons of old.

  • Anonymous

    For what it’s worth I know for a fact that Brian Williams and Scott Pelley  write their own copy. They are also well-versed in wealth etiquette, never saying the wrong thing in mixed company (when the Oligarchs and the People can both hear).

  • Anonymous

    Someday I hope to visit ND and see all the fine people there, maybe before the oil is exhausted. I do not prefer one crude oil to another, but prefer renewable energy over fossil fuels. Bust always follows an oil boom. Do you think Jesus is down there with a hose?

  • SLR

    I agree with this point of view 100%, although it may be naive to do so.  The buying of our elected oficials will continue until there is campaign funding reforms, term limits, and a much better informed electorate.  Washington has quit listening to anyone except special interest groups and influence peddlers.

  • ln

    Byron Dorgan for President!

  • Anonymous

    Looks like it’s all stitched up – no way in
    Nothing to do but huff and puff on the outside –
    Of our own house and home.

  • Gort220

    Bill and company. So glad you’re back. The shows so far have been exemplary. I spent a couple of hours watching and reading your site. Hearing what John Reed had to say was eye opening. And having Dorgan get acknowledged was an important inclusion because he was one of the few that got it right and had the courage  at that time to stand alone. I can’ thank you enough.

  • David Kennedy

    That’s nice.  It’s like saying at least the least the Mafia goes to mass every Sunday.  The end result seems to be pretty important.  A house for someone that makes 10k a year and the destruction of Glass Steagall seems to be pretty important too.  Bill had it half right.  Using half the rules of poker means we lose.  Can you hear the alarm clock?

  • David Kennedy

    Your reality is in your own little wonderland.  Paul is more democrat then Obama.  Obama is now more republican then Bush with NDAA 1021/1031.     Funny how the democrat treasury secretary and his bankers, that work for Obama,  are telling you one thing but buying gold under the table.

    You pick and chose words to move a lost cause.  Paul fought the destruction of  Glass Steagall yet you try to confuse yourself by saying “none of the candidates” believe in the legislation.  Lazy is, lazy does.  I’ll do the work for you since that seems to be your mode of operation.  Here’s the words right out of Paul’s mouth.

  • Steve Lindsley

    It appears that America is no longer a democracy but, instead, is a Corportacracy. Democracy is for all including the poor and the middle class. A Corportacracy leans heavily toward oligarchs.

  • leftofcenter

    Is Dorgan now working as a lobbyist?

  • David Kennedy
  • Blueswift

    If this is truly one nation under God, why are there money changers in our temple?

  • FranG

    Nobody cares about stupid arguments over republic vs democracy, either. Hotshots tote that one out whenever they want to head off a serious discussion. Democracy is widely used as a shortcut to refer to our system. Get over it.

  • FranG

    There are a number of posts below that attempt to persuade us that there is no difference between the two major parties. I intend to continue  voting for the one that at least talks as if economic justice is a good thing and we shouldn’t be waiting for job opportunity to trickle down from bankers and Wall Street. This is the only way leaders know which side we’re on. Then it’s up to us to stay vigilant, stay informed, and hold Congress’ feet to the fire if they don’t carry out our mandate. Are there self-serving politicians in both parties? Of course. But the more we cheer on Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders, the more John Boehner looks ridiculous.

  • heathrose

    At 12:17, Byron Dorgan says folks don’t have anyone they have hired to look after their interest.   Yes they have.  They have gone to the polls and elected them.   This is not a government of the 1%, by the 1% and for the 1%.   It is a government of the people, by the people and not for the people.   People are whipped up to make voting choices that are destroying them.  They don’t have to make those ugly choices, but they do, many eagerly.   A knowledgeable discussion of why they do, and how self-government can be saved from self-destruction, would be a great contribution.   Thank you.   

  • Sonny Gentry

    Bill Moyers does a great national service here.  It saddens me that, on PBS, he is largely preaching to the choir.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to see these segments on Fox News?  Or even the major broadcast networks?  If the Republicans win the White House, they’ll make another run at eliminating PBS.  Let’s get our checkbooks ready to support PBS even more should that happen.

  • Anonymous

    And Marcy Kaptur (Ohio’s 9th district) who is being forced into a primary run against Kucinich because of redistricting. FranG, why doesn’t the PA democratic party have anyone running or serving who can match these two?Isn’t it because the PA Democrats are equivalent austerity hacks to PA Republicans? It’s like the difference between MacDonalds and Burger King.  Oh, boo hoo, we’re broke, and we gotta cut food stamps and unemployment and maybe Social Security to keep going. What a bunch of malarchy! There has to be a difference between who the candidates serve before there is any effect from voting, and they all serve the wealthy class. It’s a good cop, bad cop game- framing up the innocent electorate.

  • Anonymous

    God is money.

  • Anonymous

    Arent Fox, where Dorgan and reverse mortgage promoter Fred Thompson work is a corporate advocate law firm with a strong lobbying specialty in media and corporate  intellectual property rights matters. Dorgan can’t lobby the Senate for two years, but can start right in on the House and the Executive and advise colleagues on Senate manipulation. If his skills are less than current, his wife who is a career insurance industry lobbyist, can coach the old feller over the supper table in their spacious McLean home, when they’re not out partying. No wonder Byron looks so pooped.

  • Anonymous

    But not usually because they are hired to generate fees.

  • Anonymous

    I now realize my main point is that incorruptible people are now laughed at for rejecting money making opportunities. 

    Bankers and financiers acted rationally in immediate self-interest if (once) they realized our economic and political system was facing inevitable implosion. And by following their capitalist instincts they hastened its cascade failure. I couldn’t find a can or jar of mushrooms packed in America yesterday in the market. I doubt our country can feed itself any longer. It’s very much like Russia in 1989.

  • Anonymous

    Cedric wants me to shut up. He’ll probably be advising anyone who differs with him to cease posting. Beware of Cedric-like creatures and continue speaking your mind whenever the urge strikes. Bill Moyers would want that.

  • It was Fraud Folks….

    I was FRAUD! Intentional, willful fraud. Please refer to Bill Black ( former S&L regulator) to really understand what happened, and what is still going on today.

  • Private Investigator

    Private Investigators**Our problem is that these politicians who are co-hoots with large financial institutions have change the rules, and have organized there greed apatite so the law is written around it…Regardless if they are Dems or Reps, we must do away with career politicians and put a term limit, with no jumping from office to office. Serve the people, not yourselves..  

  • Kjriss

    1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

     English Standard Version, James 3:1-5, New Testament, Holy Bible
    Cross references: James 5:1 : Luke 6:24; [Prov. 11:28; Amos 6:1; 1 Tim. 6:9]James 5:1 : Rom. 3:16James 5:2 : Job 13:28; Isa. 50:9; Matt. 6:19, 20James 5:2 : Job 13:28; Isa. 50:9; Matt. 6:19, 20James 5:3 : Matt. 6:19; Luke 12:21; Rom. 2:5James 5:3 : [Jas 5:8, 9]James 5:4 : Job 24:10; See Lev. 19:13James 5:4 : Deut. 24:15James 5:4 : Rom. 9:29James 5:5 : [Job 21:13; Luke 16:19; 2 Pet. 2:13]James 5:5 : 1 Tim. 5:6James 5:5 : Jer. 12:3James 5:6 : Jas 4:2James 5:6 : [Acts 3:14]

  • Anonymous

    Dear Bill Moyers:

    We have geniuses like Byron Dorgan as well man like him who epitomizes America with respect to Character, Integrity and being an American.

    Why can you not ask the others straight questions as to where there INTEGRITY was when they undertook actions that costs so many American such disasters and caused such pain to the masses.   These are basic principles that we learn in Sunday Schools, Madrassas, Jewish Religious classes. How can the CEO of CITI Bank explain away his actions when the clear question was that he had no integrity. He could have been a genius and so was Byron. But what a difference in Character and Integrity between the two and Bill Moyers we would appreciate if you would ask these questions. Don’t let it be a salient point.

    A great Admirer of Bill Moyers.


  • R. Washington

    Every time I hear how the banks and other financial institutions took advantage of people like me I becaome extremely angry. And to know that “too big to fail” still exists just heightens my anger even more. I blame President Clinton, his kitchen cabinet and both houses of the legislatures. We need to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act.

  • Ramesh

    Mr. Moyers: Why not have a rountable talk with Fed chairman, Mr. Bernanke, Ex President Clinton, Senate and House Majority/Minority leaders and bring out the inner workings?

  • Ramesh

    Mr. Moyers: Why not have a rountable talk with Fed chairman, Mr. Bernanke, Ex President Clinton, Senate and House Majority/Minority leaders and bring out the inner workings?

  • David Kennedy

    Well they made a mistake.  The debt went up 4 trillion this week.  That’s what they’re reporting.  Keep up the good work!!!  And I don’t think Mr. Dorgan is lobbying for a church group.  Financially the parties are the same.  Nothing else matters when you’re broke.  It’s easy to make you think you’re not….they just print more money and the price of everything creeps up.   Interesting how government talks about the evil bankers as they slip ’em a nookie.  Jon Corizine in particular.   The only people who look stupid are the people who keep this circus running.

  • David Kennedy

    Before you start spending our money…write that very large check yourself.  The government needs to get out of the television business.      How about getting out of all of our business!  It’s amazing how you spend our money so easily!  So the Democrat’s are the ones to blame for wasting my money?  Personal responsibility has nothing to do with republicans or democrat’s.  If you like PBS then pay for it!  Don’t force it down your neighbor’s throat through government intervention.

  • Sam in Texas

    It seems that one of the best ways to keep our body politic from the corrupting influence of corporate lobbyists is to make it illegal for publicly traded companies from lobbying Congress.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Dorgan, even with his good Senate retirement package (we provide)  is now a lobbyist (as is his spouse). Which shows just how corrupt things have become. We discussed this in detail after this segment first aired. (See below) Why not go down to K Street and see what he’s up to now, Bill Moyers? Or would that be impolite?

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Yeah, why not? Like they’d come riding down on their Schwinn’s as soon as he called. These guys ain’t gonna pull any rabbits out the hat here at Easter. Charlie Rose would stand a better chance. He’s such a good kisser.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Yeah, and if your roses grow crooked let the Sun rise in the West to even them up.

  • Anonymous

    of Goldman Sachs!

  • Rstpa

    This talk show with two knowledgeable experts is an eye-opener and should be repeated again and again.  It is
    unfortunate that courts have avoided ruling against these
    unjust atrocities when there has been occasion to do so. That
    has given a blank check to the Mortgage bankers and their foreclosing lawyers to mislead the courts to protect their fees.
    Pablo from West Chester, Pa.

  • z

    As the Senator mentioned, what is truly unfathomable is the fact the Republican/Tparty candidates, party, and millions of supporters are running on even more deregulation and actually getting away with it.  Are there no limits to just how crazy and stupid the American People are? Apparently not.

  • Matthew

    maggie… read your history.  we had a surplus because the Kuwaiti dinar revalued. plus the de-balling of our military

  • Tom Caracciolo

    For too long we in America have been living under a Government that is run by government of the people by the lobbyists for the rich and powerful corporations.  Too many of our Senate and House of Representatives are owned and controlled by Corporations and their big money.  When our US Supreme Court announced that Corporations are people, that was a strong indication that the Corporations and their big money also owned and controlled too many of our Supreme Court Justices.The only way to cleanse our political system from the currently ongoing enormous corrupting influence is to get money out of politics. We need to free ourselves of Crony Capitalism whereby a rich and powerful few are running our government and reinstate Democratic Capitalism; that is, TRUE free market capitalism which is absolutely compatible with a true democracy.  TRUE free market capitalism includes corporations and investors that assume all risks and are solely responsible for all losses as well as enjoying all profits after applicable taxes.  Then once again we will have government of the people by the people and for the people. This amendment to the Constitution is necessary because of the Freedom of Speech provisions contained in the Constitution.
    That’s why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate, which says: “We hereby petition The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate to Amend the United States Constitution to prohibit all corporations from making contributions of any kind to members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and limit individual contributions to $100.00.”  Please click here to sign: Let me know what you think.  If you agree with it, forward it to as many people as you can.  I do believe, however, that there will not be many Republicans that will agree with it.
    “We hereby petition The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate to Amend the United States Constitution to prohibit all corporations from making contributions of any kind to members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and limit individual contributions to $100.00.”
    Please click here to sign:
    Let me know what you think.  If you agree with it, forward it to as many people as you can.  I do believe, however, that there will not be many Republicans that will agree with it.

  • Anonymous

    The electoral system, with its dependence on money, selects for sell-outs.  By the time we vote, the choice is typically sell-out A versus sellout-B.

    Moreover, even when we manage to elect well-meaning people, the arguments they hear over and over are those of the corporate lobbyists, because the corporations have way more resources for lobbying than any other groups.  When the vast majority of what your hear comes from one point of view, it’s hard not to be affected.

  • Anonymous

    The most important thing is whether Mr. Dorgan is speaking the truth, not whether he is a perfect human being.

    No doubt, if one can’t counter an argument, it’s much easier to attack the messenger.

  • Anonymous

    Good point.  We’d all be much better off if each state had its own public bank.

  • Anonymous

    Byron saw the handwriting on the wall. I also did the day they repealed Glass-Steagall and mentioned it in my newsletter.

    Dodd, Gramm, and Clinton were blind – or more likely, blinded by Money.

  • Anonymous

    And don’t forget that Obama, through Holder, has promised they will never, ever prosecute the Banksters for any crime, even though they destroyed millions of American homes, jobs, and lives. That was a travesty. When it comes to Banksters, there is no difference between the parties.

  • Anonymous

    There is more and more food from China, home of antifreeze toothpaste, and soy sauce made from human hair.

  • Anonymous

    Why not. Rupert Murdoch, not even American, is forcing endless crap down our throats.