Dodd: Financial Crisis Was ‘Avoidable’

By Nitya

Sep 19, 2008 8:10am

ABC News’ Nitya Venkataraman: As the country’s leaders promised bipartisan efforts to stabilize the financial crisis, Banking Committee Chair Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., stressed that both parties would work together to find a solution but emphasized that the "total meltdown of the financial market" was "avoidable."

"This was avoidable. This did not have to happen. Where were the cops on the beat? Where were the regulators? When these loans were being made they did nothing." Dodd said, appearing on Good Morning America with ranking committee member, Republican Sen. Richard Shelby.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke briefed congressional leaders Thursday night on the plan, one that would likely require congressional legislation, that would allow the government to rescue troubled banks by purchasing their bad assets.

Congressional leaders said Thursday they expected to act quickly on the proposed plan, prior to taking a pre-election recess.

Shelby stressed the need for more information. "Is this their super-plan?" he asked. "We want to see the details…this is not a done deal yet, but we know there’s a crisis, there’s stress in the financial markets."

"Every week we’re being told this is it," Dodd added. "Richard and I wonder when it’s going to end."

In the interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, Shelby also repeatedly expressed grave concern over what the final cost would be to the taxpayer.

"We don’t know how much this is going to cost," Shelby said, citing estimates ranging from half a trillion to a trillion dollars. "That’s going to visit the taxpayer. Sooner or later it’s either going to be a debt charged to all of us to our children."

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