Friday, May 08, 2009

Bill Moyers interviews Sen. Durbin on bankers and lobbying

On Friday, May 8, 2009, Bill Moyers presented Richard Durbin (D-IL) in a discussion about the banking crisis, along with the lack of any intellectual honesty in bankers' lobbying. (People don't get paid to be honest when they lobby, do they.) The basic Durbin interview link is this.

Durbin said that the bankers who led us astray with the recklessness of the past few years had lobbied some years ago for extensive deregulation. Durbin has pushed for a law requiring mortgage lenders to offer renegotiation of mortgages within 60 days, down to fair market value. He says it make no sense to allow more lenient terms for vacation homes than primary residences, and he says that some objections to reform have been called “sanctity of contract” by market fundamentalists.

He also said that some hedge funds wanted the government to liquidate Chrysler rather than reorganize it with Chapter 11, because they would make more money – even though thousands would suffer, and retirees would lose their health insurance.

He said that some investors had called bank management “gamey, venial, and stupid”.

Durbin wants campaign finance reform that would lead to public financing for candidates who show they are viable with many small donations. He denies that this is “candidate welfare”.

Moyer has addresses lobbying and campaign finance before, as with an interview with Robert Kaiser, author of "So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government.", as in a Common Cause blog posting by Daryn Cambridge, link here.

The second part of the program consisted of an interview with Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, author of “Third Chapter: Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 Years after 50”, link for the interview here. She talked about the importance of “generativity” for people in the third section of life, rather than sticking to the previous sense of self, and possibly stagnating. They talked about whether retirement is really a “right”.

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