Former North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan (D) appeared on Moyers & Company this past weekend to express how government needs tougher rules to punish big banks.
Moyers discussed with Dorgan his 1998 speech on the Senate floor rallying against the now infamous repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which allowed banks to merge with their investment and commercial divisions and is widely viewed as one of the contributors to the 2008 financial crisis.
“If you were to rank big mistakes in the history of this country, that was one of the bigger ones,” Dorgan said. “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 felt the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 doesn’t go far enough in punishing the big banks.
“Dodd-Frank passed with my vote because it does some good things and moves in the right direction, but it is timid,” he said. “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.”
WATCH: Video from PBS, which was broadcast on January 27, 2012.