A Toxic Naked Swap
On the Senate floor, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) lashed out at his own party for its financial reform bill, saying that if they don't fix the "too big to fail" provisions and better regulate credit default swaps, "then shame on us. We have a responsibility here. We cannot claim ever that we have done something about this system." Sen. Dorgan (D-ND) is offering an amendment to ban naked credit default swaps, a practice that for centuries was illegal and is now being used to destroy the American economy and, as we speak, to attack the country of Greece while making a few cool billion for a handful of hedge fund managers who then, because of the Bush tax cuts, pay a maximum 15% income tax and no social security tax on the money they take. Dorgan's problem is that because of a series of very, very toxic Supreme Court decisions - going back a century but particularly over the past four decades - corporations now own nearly ever member of Congress except those from small states (like Dorgan's or Bernie Sanders' Vermont) where it's still possible to run for office inexpensively. The UK just had an election and not one single TV ad was allowed to be run in the campaign. Every single vote was recorded on paper - not a single Diebold machine. We have a long way to go to reclaim democracy here in America - but let's get started.