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Senator Sanders Thinks Goldman Investigation is Late

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," April 27, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: My next guest all for these hearings, maybe the body language and the rest of it. The independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont says that the Goldman Sachs probe was slow in coming, but it’s coming, it’s here and it’s valid.

Senator, what do you, first off, think of the way some of your colleagues spoke today?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS I-VT.: Well, to be very honest, I have been preoccupied with other things. I’m not on that committee. And that’s the first that I have heard of it, but I don’t think profanity is necessary.

CAVUTO: As to going after Goldman on alleged illegalities, if our Judge Napolitano is right — and he’s deeply immersed in this stuff — nothing illegal was going on. It might strike some as a little weird, but nothing illegal.

SANDERS: Well, I think we should let a court of law determine if the SEC charges are valid or not. And I’m not going to prejudge this.

CAVUTO: Yes.

SANDERS: But I will tell you this. The idea that the SEC was asleep in 2007 is precisely the reason that Wall Street was allowed to commit its excesses and cause the worst recession since the Great Depression, resulting in millions of people losing their jobs.

So, if somebody says, well, gee, in 2007, nobody did anything about it, they’re looking back, that’s the problem. The problem was that Wall Street spent billions of dollars to get their deregulation. The government got off of their back and we let these guys do what they do.

And you know what they do? They engaged in reckless, irresponsible and, I suspect, illegal behavior that led...

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: ...this country to a recession.

CAVUTO: All right. Let’s say you’re right on that. For the purpose of this argument, let’s say you’re right on that. Then it’s not without Washington culpability, right? And it is not without also a fair memory back in that same year and the years before of a Washington that was very big on incentivizing all to get a home, right, that this was almost to the point of, if you had a pulse, you got a mortgage.

SANDERS: Yes, but I don’t think anybody condoned mortgage companies going out and telling people who had no jobs, who had no income, who were obviously lying about anything, here’s a mortgage.

And the reason was...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, Congress wrote off on no-doc loans, you know, sir. Congress wrote off on that.

SANDERS: Well, I know. That’s — people keep saying that — you know, that that is a problem. It is a problem. And if you think that’s the only problem, I think you would be misreading what happened.

CAVUTO: No, no, I agree with you, Senator. All I’m saying is...

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: Look, I understand that.

CAVUTO: And with all deference to your colleagues, they weren’t doing any of that. They weren’t doing the same Washington soul-searching that you have done with me tonight and on other occasions.

They were just saying, Goldman, Goldman, Goldman.

SANDERS: What they were — what they — look, what you had is, after Wall Street spent billions of dollars, you had the deregulation of Wall Street.

And I don’t know, Neil, why anybody would be shocked that, when you give people unlimited authority to act whose only function in life is to make as much money as they can any way they can, why you would be shocked at what happened or what they have done.

In my view, what real reform has got to be about is bringing Wall Street back into the real productive economy, and rather than having a huge gambling casino which has no productive value, get these people to provide affordable loans to small and medium-sized businesses, so we can rebuild our economy and create good-paying jobs.

CAVUTO: Well, Goldman is not in the loan business. But I — you’re saying the greater bank business, that’s what they should be doing.

SANDERS: That’s right.

CAVUTO: OK.

SANDERS: What I’m also saying is, Neil, in terms of the legislation we are going to be dealing with, despite Republican opposition now — they will eventually allow a debate to take place — a real concern that I have that is not talked about enough is, you’ve got the four largest banks in this country having assets of over $7 trillion, which is more than 50 percent of the GDP of this country.

CAVUTO: OK. All right.

SANDERS: Is that a problem? I think so.

CAVUTO: Senator, you said all of that without once cursing.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: Always good seeing you, my friend. Be well.

SANDERS: OK, Neil. Thank you.

CAVUTO: Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

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