tv U.S. Senate CSPAN July 15, 2013 8:30am-12:01pm EDT
generally that there are at least two considerations here. one in the first instance we do have to look, getting back to your first question, we do have to look at what is going to give us a level of safety and stability in the financial system that will protect against a recurrence of the kind of extremely severe financial crisis we had a few years ago and the analytics behind that have suggested that among other things, and perhaps central to the reform process is the need for substantially more and better capital than existed precrisis. so stablizing the financial system, being kind of an insurance policy against a severe crisis is the big benefit that one gets from higher capital levels. are there costs associated with that? true, there are almost always costs associated with any kind of a policy that tries to protect individuals.
i mean if you tell people they can't drive as fast in order to stop there from being fatalities on the highway some come customers is -- commerce is going to take longer do. we've balanced this and the transition periods mean that there will be a minimal disruptive effect on the economy while we get to larger and higher capital levels. >> senators mccain and warren and can't well, along with some others introduced a bill to reduce glass-steagall, similar to the bill mccain and cantwell did three years ago, to separate consumer banking the way it was before glass-steagall. you have spoken about this before. do you think that is a good idea to protect the system, protect individual consumers? would that address too big to fail in a way we haven't addressed it so far.
>> well, there is, and i think quite appropriately, ways to take additional steps to provide more of that safety and stability i was talking about a moment ago. i think it's useful to begin by identifying for ourselves what the criteria we want to bring to bear on reform proposals are. i think probably the two most important, not hard to identify are first, how efficacious would proa proposal be in preventing the kind of problems we had five and six years ago or preventing problems that right now, without a whole lot of imagination one could foresee developing? and secondly, what would be the costs but i would say particularly what would be some unintended consequences of a proposed reform measure? i think if you use that as a very basic framework for thinking about reform proposals, it helps you think through which ones one might want to pursue sooner, which ones have maybe
you have more priority on and which ones you might want to take more time to assess. so that's the backdrop, number one. number two, i think it is important to keep a little history in mind here as to how glass-steagall ended up being first narrowed and then in gramm-leach-bliley, at least in the separation of banking an investment banking aspect, eliminated. the commercial banks beginning in about the mid '70s began to experience a real squeeze in their business models on both sides of the balance sheet. on the liability side deposits, and basically they had been very cheap sources of funding, indeed for a while suppressed by federal reserve regulations the amount of interest you could pay on them, deposits had been this very predictable, beneficial for the banks source of funding.
that were, becoming less and less reliable because other savings vehicles were developing for american households. mutual fund, money market mutual fund, a variety of ways that an individual home, household could get a higher return on its savings. it obviously meant that bank deposits were becoming less attractive. eventually of course interest rates were deregulated and so the funding was a little more available but somewhat more expensive. on the asset side of the balance sheet, the growth of capital markets in the united states had over the preceding couple of decade led to a situation in which very large companies essentially did not borrow anymore from commercial banks. they may have stand-by funding arrangements, bridge funding, that sort of thing, but they didn't take out big, longer-term
loans. capital market had made publicly-issued bond much more readily available first to the biggest and then eventually to big and then some medium-large companies as well. all of that on both sides of the balance sheet was to the good for the economy as a whole, good for households to be able to get higher return on their savings, good for companies to have a lower cost of capital but it did produce the squeeze on banks so to some degree what was happening in the '80s and the '90s, regulators and the congress were reacting to this squeeze which was calling into question the viability of the very large banking model. that was a lot of what lay behind, as i say, the erosion of glass-steagall. when glass-steagall was finally, the underbrush was swept away and gramm-leach-bliley, it was not so much ad call change in the situation. that had been happening for a
while but it was a lost opportunity. it was a lost opportunity to put in place a regulatory system that responded more to the new forms of funding, the new forms of activities. so with all that as a backdrop, the way i think about glass-steagall is roughly the following which is on the benefit side there could be some benefits in having a separation of banking and commerce, prophylactic type benefits but as i think we saw in the run-up to the crisis, many of the institutions that actually provoked the most serious phase of the crisis were not within the commercial banking system at all, either individually or by affiliation, and indeed they had no discount to the window, most notable examples were lehman and bear stearns. there were large banking organizations that adives and
did similar things to what -- sivs. there was some question as to how much that separation would develop prevent the kind of problems we saw from developing. secondly there is at least some question whether someone would lose something which is the benefits of having large institutions with the capacity to, doesn't say they have to be as large as some of our institutions are today but relatively large institutions with the capacity to provide funding of any sort that a client may need, from a, line of credit at a commercial bank to underwriting a bond, to going out with an ipo now what those benefits are, a little hard to pin down. there hasn't been as much research i would like to see but it is at least arguable. when i put the two things together, efficacy and at least some questions about unintended
consequences my own sense i wouldn't have this approach as high on my list. there was a problem with bear. there was a problem with lehman. there was a problem with the sivs but i think the problem was a short-term runnable funding more than what kind of firms they were affiliated with? >> is that a long way of saying no, you wouldn't support? >> i guess it's a way of saying people should continue to explore and ask questions and analyze watt impact of various proposed reforms would be. for me the priority is wholesale short-term funding area. >> you mentioned sieves and commercial banks he and citigroup was arguably one of the main reasons glass stegall came down was lobbying pressure from those who wanted to create a one-stop supermarket like citigroup. and people don't talk about citi that much when talking about the
crisis and cost of the crisis and bailouts that took place but citigroup required a lot of federal assistance. re-creation of this law would create supermarket like the group again. is this a important to create legislation to prevent a supermarket like citigroup? >> in. >> the end the biggest impact of glam leech bliely to absorb travelers. that was a fairly short-lived marriage. i guess the real point is that, the vulnerabilities of using short-term funding to support longer term assets are vulnerabilities can develop in
many kinds of institutions. if we're trying to solve for that problem we should solve for that problem no matter what the vehicle took place. >> some beyond sometimes what i'm able to comprehend. i want to bring in "politico" pro, kay davidson has a question from our friends there. serves. sivs. >> we can hear you. >> requires different agencies to collaborate on major rules like the mortgage retention rule. do you think this leads to better outcomes or are there too many cooks in the kitchen sometimes? >> i think it is a complicated process. if you think about precrisis period, the three banking
agencies did a fair number of rules, particularly capital rules and guidance for banks together. they have, worked out a reasonably good way of dealing with one another. there were some fairly notable disagreements in that precrisis period but certainly since i've gotten to the fed i think the relationship among what the staff and principals at those agencies is pretty well developed and sort of a shared perspective. it still takes time. the important thing for people to realize is, even when everybody, and this is overwhelmingly the case, is acting in total good faith, if everybody has their own perspective, and that needs to be worked through, it just takes a lot longer for staff to try to incorporate all the views that, in the volcker rule for example, i think 22 separate people at the five relevant agencies have
a say in. and when agencies that are not necessarily sharing the same basic approach like the three banking agencies have to deal with one another, again, there may be some learning. i think there has been some learning. that's been the good side of it but it really does take quite a while, and it does require sometimes that you have different elements of proposals being placed together in a way that no one agency would on its own have done. so i think, you know, someone, being in the middle of it, it seems very long, can be frustrating it takes that much time. it's, again, you don't get frustrated with the individuals, just with the process taking as much time as it does. i think probably we have to wait until the whole process is over for more objective observers to ask the question, on net, has the value of different
perspectives been such as to make that kind of rule-making with multiple agencies the best way to go? i think it's a little early to judge yet but i think it is undeniable that feature of dodd-frank is part of what has slowed down the rule-making process. >> you're saying there is never actually any personality conflicts between different regulators? there is always collaboration? >> i mean i've been in and out of government for a long time now and doesn't much matter what the particular institutional structure is. there are certainly going to be a greater or lesser number of policy conflicts and sometimes personality conflicts. i guess what would say about this set of exercises, i think people have gone out of their way in general to try to be cooperative and collegial precisely because everybody recognizes the novelty of the
undertaking and also just the sheer magnitude of it. >> right. i want to get back to some regulatory questions for a moment. i look down at the clock and i know our time moves fast and we want to talk a bit about monetary policy and this very interesting time the fed is in right now. i wonder, whether you were surprised by the speed and intensity of market reaction to the chairman's press conference on june 19th, particular any in the bond market and the reaction of the 10-year treasury to those comments. how did you feel about that market reaction, and, do you think since that has happened the market has gotten back to a more point of equalibrium that is kind of fair value? >> it is probably worth going back to the middle part of the spring when yields started to rise. this was best chairman's jec testimony, much less before the fomc in june and i would think
that the overwhelming explanation for that rise would have been some anticipation that things were getting better in the economy. if you will the good reason why long-term rates will begin to go up is an expectation that conditions at some point in the future will warrant higher interest rates. so, actually dealing with a, an upward trend that then obviously did have a jump, at the time of our june fomc meeting. you know, i think that having spoken to a lot of participants in markets over the last several months, i heard, i heard from an awful lot of them. it was almost unanimous, i think, the sense that there will be jumps up and down and many of these people were supporters of the policies, not all, but many were supportive of the policies
we've been pursuing in our monetary policy, but they all basically said, you're going to have jumps up and down, whether in equities or in bond or in both. so i didn't find it wholly surprising that there might be that kind of a reaction. you don't know whether people had certain trades that they wanted to unwind as soon as they got a hint that maybe at some point, even if it were quite a ways in the future there might be a change in the lsap program. what i think one would want to claire five things in exactly what our position has been on monetary policy and i'm speaking only for myself but here i think i'm echoing things that are in the fomc minutes and in the statement itself. and there are two things i think really to keep in mind. first, with respect to the large-scale asset purchases, qe
3 as it's been popularly called, what we're talking about here eventually a reduction in the number of purchases per month and then eventually a cessation of new purchases. no one is talking about unwinding or selling the securities that we've been buying. and that is also, remember, data or data driven dependent on the economy. as we see the economy develop, then we'll make our judgment. we're not specifying, no matter what happens on this particular date we're going to have a change in the flows. so that is one thing. will still be a very accommodating policy. two, and probably, even more important for people to realize is, there is not some sort of
connection between the reduction and size and cessation of the purchase program when it comes and a move to increase the federal funds rate. i can't overemphasize the importance noting that the federal fund rate numbers, the 6.5 unemployment, half a percentage point above the 2% inflation target, are themselves thresholds and not triggers. that is to say, when one or both of those is reached what will happen is the fomc will sit and think about whether under these circumstances it's appropriate to make a move on the federal fund rate. it is not automatic. and indeed it is not difficult to imagine circumstances one would say, even though, for example, the 6.5% unemployment rate has been reached, inflation might still be subdued. we might see there's a good bit of slack in the labor market.
perhaps labor force participation has still not bounced back but there are good reasons to believe it will. so what is set off by those thresholds is a consideration of what to do next. and, nothing has been pulled forward there in any respect. it is really a sense of reaffirmmation that that are two different but complimentary policy instruments at play here, each moving on its own set of contingent conditions as assessed bit committee. >> in terms of those targets which aren't triggers -- >> thresholds. >> thresholds. being met, there is a general consensus, in the economic community that the fed's forecasts for economic growth for the rest of this year are probably too rose sir, too ambitious, that we'll not hit those levels and looks like the second quarter number will be very weak based in part on the
continued fiscal drag that we're going to see at least through the second quarter, probably later into this year. what is your view on the state of the economy right now and your, forecast for the rest of this year? do you think the fed's current published forecasts are too ambition, too hopeful and do you see the economic recovery gathering pace? >> first i would, just a technical matter. remember that the projections that the chairman was reporting on at the june press conference, are basically the central tendency of the aggregated projections of 19 individuals in the fomc. it is not, this is actually useful to point out. some central banks have a process whereby the members of the monetary policy committee sit around and put together their individual projections and try to come up with a consensus. we don't do that. having said that, i think, the
most important thing again, is, that my decisions certainly, and i would anticipate those of my colleagues, are going to be based upon what we observe about the economy, what the outlook for labor market improvement is, which is a standard we've articulated for the lsap purchases. if it turns out that the central tendency of fomc participants has been too optimistic, that would suggest that the path of the economy is not going to go as the chairman related those expectations in june and therefore what a monetary policymaker would call a reaction function is going to indicate that we should behave differently. so in a sense that is kind of a self-correcting mechanism in there. more generally on the economy, you know, it's interesting, i think for the last several
years, my own view has been that the spurts in economic growth, job creation, that we would see for a period of a several, several, four or five months, were largely the result of monetary policy, stimulus effects, stimulus policy, stimulative effects or some come bin nation of the -- combination of the two. i suspect there is self-sustaining underlying momentum there because of a large amounts of household debt that had built up. because of the depressed state of the housing market. because of the major dislocations that had occurred in the american labor market. so, at various steps of the way when, when some people were getting a bit more optimistic, my underlying assumption would be that we're going to have some backsliding. indeed that has taken place on
each of those previous three occasions. beginning towards the end of last year, i think actually the analytic frame has shifted somewhat. i think it is the case now that household debt, it is by no means the case that households are back in the circumstances of the precrisis period but enough households have got a lot of work done on their own balance sheets. we know that the financial system is stronger than it was. large corporations are very cash-rich right now. they have been in very good shape for sometimes, large non-financials. it appeared as though those proverbial clicheed headwinds the economy was facing because of the financial crisis, something that pushed down asset values and left people with a
lot of debt have substantially diminished. i think this year the question has been to what degree the fiscal drag that has taken place because of the increase in the payroll tax and sequestration retarred the rebound of the economy which otherwise seemed poise to start a steadier, not a spectacular period of growth but a steadier period of growth? i think the jury is still out on that to some degree. i think it is undeniable that those fiscal effects have had a drag and a significant one. cbo thinks a percentage 1/2, point 1/2 off of g-dp this year. but for all of us the question is going to be, can the economy with such underlying momentum as it builds up, work through the peak period of fiscal constraint which is probably if the effects
diminish a bit. that is the question i will ask myself as we come up in the next several fomc meetings. what us did the data say about whether the underlying momentum is enough to sustain positive growth through this period or to what degree the fiscal constraints, risking again that kind of backsliding we've seen each of the last three years. >> how much of a additional risk is it toback sliding if we get another debt ceiling debacling,/, government shut down or? debt ceiling is in november. there is no clear path to resolution of either of those at that., how much of a risk do you think that poses to economic recovery, in addition to the on
top of the fiscal tightening we see in the second and third quarter? >> as we saw a couple of years ago, in terms of confidence in markets and certainty for business people trying to make investment decisions and the like, those kind of high uncertainties, so-called, fiscal cliff, can not be helpful. it's just something that is out there that can inject more doubt, more uncertainty, into a group of consumers and investors who are already asking a lot of questions about the underlying strength of the economy. >> this is a twitter question but also want to have on my list which is your view on the bernanke effort to bring more transparency to the central bank, particularly i said inflation target? he has held press conferences. attempted to be more open in his communication with general public, less sort of inscrutable as previous feds.
chairman may or may not have been. do you think on balance it has been a positive thing and are we in a period where the fed communicates better with the public about it? >> let's start about thinking about this as citizens. , what are the reasons why, there is prince approximately -- principle reason one wants transparency in government is accountability. we're a nation of delegated powers in which the people delegate to the congress under article one of the constitution which in turn delegates to a variety of government agencies and there is a very strong interest in any democracy in the people being able to observe how those della gees are carrying out authority congress has given them. i think in the first instance
the transparency policies which the chairman championed long before he got to the fed can be understood as a way for congress and through congress, the public, to evaluate how the fed, which is an independent entity, it has a lot of independence for a very good reason but with that independence it need to give people an opportunity to evaluate what its policies are, what its reasoning is, how, what its trying to accomplish in pursuit of the dual mandate congress has given us and think in and of itself that's a reason for a significant amount of transparency, you know with everything from fomc staples to the chairman's press conferences to humphrey-hawkins testimony and the like. there is second reason although not peculiar to monetary policy, doesn't apply in every area, and that is that in monetary policy
communication of the central banks thinking, intentions and frame of reference can itself be a policy instrument. we're talking about the thresholds a moment ago. the thresholds are essentially a communication transparency policy which says, here's the way we'll be thinking about the federal fund rate over some extended period of time. in doing that in monetary policy one hopes to provide more information to market actors. everyone from investors to people thinking about buying a house, to be able to get a better sense, not a perfect sense, but a better sense of how the path of monetary policy may play out depending on economic conditions. and so i think, you have a second reason, and again, the chairman in his academic persona, had developed that notion rather substantially
before his arrival at the fed. so i think those two, those two elements put together make a strong case for a fair amount of transparency. and then i would underscore that by saying particularly when we're pursuing unconventional policies. you know, the lsaps, the forward guidance itself ironically are things that were not known to or certainly were not in the arsenal of tools used by the fed in the decades preceding the crisis. these were things that were used precisely because of the highly unusual circumstances and i would say under those conditions we have, again, for democratic accountability reasons and for the efficacy of monetary policy, probably more of a reason to have the chairman speaking more regularly and at more length about those policies. and, i do think it is been very
helpful for the understanding of the fomc positions to have the chairman do the press conferences four times a year. it not only allows him to elaborate some on the reasoning of the committee, the kinds of discussions we've had, but, and i think this has actually been really successful, it allows the most-informed reporters who follow the fed regularly to ask the kind of questions that inform people generally would ask. i for one at least think that it's been highly successful and important innovation. >> we also support allowing reporters to ask questions so we appreciate that. we'll get back to the nitty-gritty of regulatory policy in just a moment but i think people listening to you would notice you have a nice boston accent. i learned you're a boston red sox fan which we will forgive you for in the context of this debate but tell us a little bit how you came to be
where you are. give as you little bio on daniel tarullo and rise to the federal reserve. >> i will try to make this short. probably the approximate, if i can interpret that question, how did you get interested in banking and financial regulation, i had in previous times in the government been in the antitrust area, done international trade, been in the clinton white house and economic policy. when, when i was in the clint top white house, i was the assistant to the president for international economic policy during the asian financial crisis. and so this would, this was an interesting an intense learning experience about what can happen when the reverse aols of flows of capital and in fairly short toward. it also implicated a lot of banks that had been doing lending particularly in correia
but some -- korea, but some other asian countries that were swept up in the crisis. just as i was leaving or thinking of leaving the white house was the early stages, thinking about what became gramm-leach-bliley. although i was not directly involved in it, i saw some of the early thinking and the combination of those two things got me interested in it. when i went back to teaching on the georgetown law faculty here in town, rather than go back and teach antitrust and rather than teach international trade i decided to refocus just because it seemed interesting, to do that. and so to some degree, i wouldn't actually call it felicity when you have a financial crisis, but by chance i got interested in the area and frankly began to see some continuing international vulnerabilities and spent the better part of nine years teaching, reading, writing in this area and ended up writing a
book in this area. so as things began to deteriorate in 2007 i was obviously paying much closer attention and began formulating at least in my own mind, a set of things that thought needed to be done and have just been very fortunate that i got in a position to collaborate with others in trying to realize some of those things. >> this sort of follows on that. it's a question from twitter that i was also interested in. the question is, how does the fed evaluate costs and benefits of equity capital requirements? what determines the new leverage ratio? how did you get to that number versus where bassal was and what sort of cost benefit analysis goes into that? >> we did a awful lot of work on capital ratios, both the levels that seemed prescribed or needed in order to reduce the chances of financial instability, but
also the cost to the economy. we did a lot of that in collaboration with other basal committee members in a bis-driven, quite substantial exercise but we also did a bunch of it on our own. i think we actually formulated quite a good analytic framework for i thinking about both sides of that question and that informed our positions on basal iii and on the sifi surcharges, which i think you know in both cases we were in favor of somewhat higher numbers that eventually came out. that was based in part on the analysis we had done. with respect to the leverage ratio specifically that gets back to the point that i mentioned briefly in passing at the outset of our discussion which is that complimentary and
scenario and risk based measures. the object here is to have, in my mind, to have several capital measures, each of which compensates for the inevitable shortcomings of any one capital measure. so to do that for a risk-weighted capital for example, the leverage ratio needs to provide a into that's not way down there but a floor that is rather closer to where the firms are actually operating. so what we tried to, what we're trying to do with the ideas of increasing beyond the basal 3, percent leverage ratio, the rough relationship between the risk-weighted capital and leverage ratio that was part of u.s. regulation for some time. now the levels were too low precrisis for both risk-weighted and leverage but the idea was, try to raise them and keep that
relationship ruffle roughly, roughly comparable. we'll take comment and see if people think we got it about right but i need to underscore again from our point of view the basal iii plus sifi surcharge plus the risks-weighted ratio and plus the leverage ratio plus the post-traumatic stress disorder test that the fed is doing every year, the fed driven vest test every year, are three important components of a single capital regulatory regime. >> if you could change one thing about dodd-frank, what would it be? >> i don't know that, kate's question earlier probably got to the issue that seems most with me and with us on a daily basis but as i tried to indicate because it's a very good question, i tried to indicate that, i think, you know, in my
academic, in my academic avatar i would want to hold judgment whether that was a good thing or bad thing. there are definitely says i said to myself man, i wish we didn't have to coordinate with six agencies on this, five on this and seven on all the rest but the interests of the american people do not coincide with relative degree of frustration in my daily life. >> i wish that were the case. i want to open up questioning to the audience. we have a microphone if anyone here has a question for the governor. i think rob back there has got a question. just tell us who you are. >> hi. can you hear me? rob nichols. good morning, governor, thanks for taking some time and i appreciate your articulation of all the things that the industry and the regulators have done to make our system more safe and more sound and secure. another question on the leverage ratio however, and you've spoken to part of this we just witnessed a week-long debate over the need to you saw
regulators and legislators making the point we need to work in the spirit of cooperation with our international pierce. similarly on -- peers. on resolution, we're working hard to try to set up a global, you know, resolution standard and make sure we work together in a wiped-down sort of cooperative fashion. given we're trying to do that, how do you respond to those who say on the leverage ratio side the u.s. going, departing from our peers seems inconsist with that spirit of cooperation that we're obviously trying to strife for in this finreg debate. >> look at what the various basal committees always said. these are minimum capital levels. this is very dangerous, and i'm not saying you're doing this but, some tried to characterized
basal agreements a the ceiling and not the floor. the basal agreements from basal i in the late '80s onward, basal agreement have been about assuring internationally active banks have minimal capital levels in order to provide minimal assurances to all of us around the world about the safety and soundness of financial institutions whose activities have substantial cross-border a effects. indeed if you look at basal ii, which as you know i have many concerns about, particularly the pillar i part of it but pillar ii the supervisory part of basal ii is saying there ought to be higher capital requirements in appropriate circumstances and there's nothing that says that national authorities can not make a judgment that they want more. indeed i think we've seen in switzerland, and in the u.k. a good bit of debate and in some
respects action in increasing capital requirements above what the basal levels would be. so, for us in the united states i think in the first instance those of us who are regulators, those of us who are charged with financial stability of the united states, need to make the judgment as to what levels of capital will most assure financial stability in the country without unduly affecting the flow of credit? that's a judgment which we're to make by law, which we will make. i think it is also important to note there is interactive quality to this. this is interesting. even since they, the publication of our proposed reg, i have, i have had calls from my counterparts around the world saying that is really interesting. tell me the reasoning on this. how you're thinking about it.
explain to me more why you think 3% is inadequate. it is tapping into i think a latent concern that exists among a the love other regulators, that, as i said, the leverage ratio, basal iii, the sifi surcharges, i think in the leverage ratio significantly. in some cases somewhat lower than might have been optimal and i think there is interest that, there is interesting showing in additional measures. i think capital is central. i think capital is a good area to set minimum requirements. it is good to harmonize capital. we've been work so hard to internationally to try to harmonize margins applied to non-essentially cleared derivatives. i don't think that is necessary in the capital area but it is
also, in part because the position of any firm in any country depend on the competitive position, depend on a lost things. it depend on capital requirements. it depend on accounting rules. it depends on other government policies. it depends on structural limitations. so that competitive position is the net effect of all of those policies and we're still in a period of flux i think among a lot of nations in thinking about how much more do we want to do? the vickers commission discussions in the u.k., the continuing debates within the european parliament. so i think that it may be a few years before we see how the combination of measures in all countries kind of measure or stack up with one another. >> we'll get to another question. we've got one right there.
>> thank you, brian gardner from keefe bruyette & woods. governor, with regard to the leverage ratio that came out last week, not all sifis are equally. some are more engaged in risk-taking and some in plumbing of the industry like the trust banks. what are your views in applying the proposal uniformly to all institutions regardless of their kind of risk profile? >> well, sir, that will certainly be something that we'll take comments on. there's, there's, as you know, there are a number of policies that do distinguish even among the eight identified institutions of global systemically importance, the sifi surcharges being a good example of that. i think although by their terms the liquidity coverage ratio and soon the net stable funding ratio apply equally the fact is that the impact that they have
may be different depending on the profiles of the firms and, and surely in our supervisory policies we distinguished considerably among them. my, i think our shared sense going in has been that the leverage ratio, the single leverage ratio is one of those policies that's probably close enough to having roughly comparable effects in producing roughly comparable benefits for financial stability. that it's one of those that could be applied to all eight. there were some discussions about the idea of varying them by varying the ratios, by the systemically importance of the firm or maybe by other criteria but that, that path didn't seem at least to us one that was as
practical as the six-five approach that ben mentioned a moment ago. >> we're just about out of time. i want to ask really quickly if you saw larry fink's comments where he said the leverage ratio could impact banks ability to by -- and impact fed monetary policy. >> i didn't see the question and that is definitely a question and would i expect we'll get comments on that in the comment process. >> three more pages of questions. we don't have a lot more time but the most important one, are the red sox real? do they make the playoffs, win the world series? you're a big fan. what do you think? >> this has really been, after last year which i think was pretty disappointing for anyone associated with the red sox over the years, this has been a really good first half of the season. on the other hand i think we're now seeing what everybody said at the beginning, the al east is the toughest division in
baseball. >> daniel turullo, thanks for coming out. thanks for being with us. a great conversation. >> thank you. >> here is a look at the week ahead in congress. on the agenda this week a bill that would delay one year for the employer and individual mandate called for under the health care law. and work on the 2014 defense spending authorization. the senate is back in work today at 2:00 p.m. senators from both parties plan
to hold a closed-door meeting to discuss changes for senate voting rules for non-judicial nominees. that meet something being held to try to proceed with seven of president obama's and previous cabinet positions block he haded by republican senator reid is threatening to lower the threshold for the president's nominees from 60 to the simple majority. he set to cut off debate in nominations, labor secretary, the financial protection agency and the consumer financial protection bureau. we're expecting remarks on the senate floor about the proposed rule change when the senate gavels. in. see live coverage of the senate on c-span2 starting at 2:00 p.m. eastern. ahead of that senate caucus meeting today on the filibuster it, majority leader reid will address the issue at an event for the center for american progress action fund this morning. that will be live starting at 10:30 eastern. you will be able to see that on our companion network, c-span.
this is the not first time the senate has been in conflict over filibuster rules. here is a look at senator reid discussing the issue during a 2008 interview. >> nuclear option, you just mentioned it on chapter 7 of your book, describes the circumstances with the nuclear option. just so our viewers can better understand, what was the nuclear option and what likelihood we'll face nuclear option-like questions again? >> what the republicans came up with was a a way to change our country forever. they made a decision if they didn't get every judge they wanted, every judge they wanted, they would make the senate just like the house of representatives. we would have a in effect a unicameral legislature where a simple majority determine what is happens. in the house of representatives today, pelosi is the leader. prior to that was hastert. whatever they wanted, hastert or
pelosi they get tons. the rules over there allowed that. the senate was set up to be different. that was the genius and vision of our founding fathers that this bicameral legislature which was unique, had two different duties. one was as franklin said, to pour the coffee into the saucer and let it cool off. that is why you have, the ability to filibuster and to terminate filibuster. they wanted to get rid of all that. that is what the nuclear option was all about. >> is there any likelihood we're going to face circumstances like that again. >> as long as i'm the leader, the answer is no. i think we should just forget that. that is a black chapter in the history of the senate. i hope we never, ever, get to that again because i really do believe it will ruin our country. i've said, i said during that debate, that in all my years in government, that was the most important thing i ever worked on >> majority leader reid back in
2008. once again he will be discussing the current filibuster situation live today, starting at 10:30 eastern on c-span. and here on c-span2 we'll be live at the brookings institution, with remarks from jeffrey feldman. he is the keynote speaker at an event looking at the role of the united nations in conflict mediation focusing on the syrian civil war, focusing on democracy in somalia and international efforts to create stability in mali. that will be live 11:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> we're actually very bullish on cable. on, they have a, huge, big fat pipe into the home with put pell services. obviously initially it was video. over time that is most importantly broadband but also voice, rolling out other services on top of that, like home monitoring. it is home security plus. could be things like, managing
the thermostat or turning on the pool heater or a nanny cam or pets there are new services they're beginning to roll out on that platform. >> we issued an annual report. what we found is consistent what we found in recent years which is average price of expanded basic most people subscribe to continues to go up. i think it went up 6% last year. the price per channel has gone down in recent years. what we see consumers get more channels but paying more for the package. whether that is good or bad is not our job. we're reporting on it at the moment. >> more what is happening in today's cable industry from the cable industry show on "the communicators," tonight on c-span2. a discussion now on u.s. strategy with north korea. former u.n. ambassador and new mexico governor bill richardson, and former
south korean ambassador donald gregg discuss current u.s. policy and seeing a way to encage north korea in nuclear talks and this is about at the asia society and about an hour and 25 minutes. >> now to korea, and a personal note to begin with. i am a relative newcomer here. i started in the fall and i was a journalist for nearly three decade before that. in thinking about tonight's program i was reminded about something that happened fairly frequently when you were on the international desk as i was for many years and something that happened to international news editors the world over. you would get a call, often, well, it might be during the day but more likely it was middle of the night wake-up call, kim jong-un or kim jong ill said before he wants to rain fire on
south korea. he wants to destroy the american aggressors. he wants to take a shot at japan. sometimes it was a lot more than rhetoric. a vessel had been sunk. south korean vessel. a missile had been launched, a bomb had been detonated. quite often the response after we raced to digest the headlines and respond to the headlines would be, don't worry, it's bluster. it's meant for internal consumption. everyone calm down. lately as many of you know the spring in particular calm down has seemed a bit of at mark. we've had major provocations from the north and they have come from a relatively new and even by the standards of north korea, a little-understood leader. we also have a brand new and, i think it is safe to say, still untested leader in the south. and so if there were ever a story or an issue that warrants
beyond the headlines treatment it is probably this one, and for beyond the headlines treatment you can do no better than our guests tonight. not only 13 trips to north korea but they have worked very long for a time to deal with all these issues. at first glance bill richardson's resume' doesn't scream correia. he has been a congressman, governor of new mexico, energy secretary and this country's ambassador to the united nations. but he is here because of his long-time involvement on the north korean question and so many occasions been an envoy for peace not just there but some of the tougher climates of the planet. governor richardson negotiated with saddam hussein. milosevic and many others and he had eight of those trips to north korea that i mentioned earlier. earlier this year ambassador richardson, governor richardson led a delegation of business leaders inconcluding the google chairman eric schmidt to the north.
he has a wealth of experience in a place where most people is have none at all. so of course has ambassador donald gregg whose career has been profoundly tied to the korean peninsula. as ambassador to korea, as national security advisor. after he left government he was chairman of the korean sight of new york and that organization as chairman emeritus. done has still has been advocate for greater engagement on the north and on the math he has been there five times. in special welcome, i will embarass you, john, john williams. until recently he was national editor of the british broadcasting corporation, the bbc i held that same situation at abc. whenever i was in a pickle which was quite often i would call or e-mail john who always had an answer and it was always an intelligent answer. when i left abc someone asked me about potential candidates to replace me. when john's name came up and i
said, this is an exact quote, well if you get john williams he won't ever miss me for a moment. and abc got him. so now john is the one taking those middle of the night calls on this and i don't know how many other global matters and we're delighted you're here. a quick reminder, we're streaming this event as we always do live and around the world. i know we have an audience at our center in seoul tonight. well not tonight but friday morning in seoul. and you can, those of you who are out there, e-mail questions to moderator@asia is a society.org or post a question on twitter with hashtag asia. we'll have a moderate discussion and open up for questions here and the broader audience beyond this room. please join me in welcoming bill richardson. [applause] >> thank you, john. thank you very much. the last time i was here, i was
running for president. i notice you didn't mention that, john. that's okay. i was forcibly brought here by ambassador dick holbrooke who i miss dearly but you know how insistent he was and how dearly we miss him. it's an honor to be at the asia society. i feel when i address the asia society i have arrived. the establishment has accepted me as a maverick negotiator and especially with ambassador don gregg, probably the most knowledgeable person, could be in the world on the korean peninsula. i will probably defer to a lost his opinions but let me go right into the issue. number one, i'm going to answer the five most common questions that are asked about north korea, concluding in the
end with, how do we improve the relationship? what, the apocalypse, how can we avoided armageddon with north korea? what do we need to do? is it just us and others, non-political actors, et cetera? and i say this because lately i've been unfavorably compared to dennis rodman. [laughing] and i, i don't know what i will say on that but why is this issue important? obviously i think we know the answer. that's number one. number two, i think in the great introduction setting of the event what are the north koreans up to? what is their strategy with this new leader? number three, the young leader, is he in control?
what is he like? what is he trying to do? >> number four, is there a chance, the wishful thinking of some, regime change? is there a chance if we just do nothing that that the regime will collapse? number five and perhaps the more important, who can influence them? what can we do about north korea for the international community and obviously for u.s. policy? let me go into the first one. what should be our goal? i think our fundamental goal should be, how do we denuclearize the korean peninsula? how do we get the north koreans back at the table? i think that has to be the fundamental goal. why is this region important? obviously our treaty relationship with south korea,
our friendship with japan. the fact that we have 30,000 american troops. the fact that there are landmines there an they're constantly in danger. the fact that north korea has nuclear weapons. some say up to as many as six sis mills. development of missiles, their range uncertain but clearly developing. 1.2 million military and arms, men and women in arms. an unpredictable leader. this is critically important. china, china's presence in the region, in a region vitally important to american interests. number two, what are they up to? well, in the past there's been the traditional, ante up the
rhetoric. take some shots at south korea. find the most incendiary words in the american press to start tell american policy-makers. scare everybody and then make a deal. make a deal on food, on fuel, the agreed framework. i'm generalizing but across the board, scare everybody. be very hostile but eventually show your card as to what you want. is that the case now? the answer is, i don't know and i don't think so. now, let me also say that even though i've been to north korea eight times and i'm referred to as the foremost north korea specialist in the country i
always say i don't know what they're going to do next. they're unpredictable. i don't know where all the power centers are. and if anybody says they're like us when they negotiate, they aren't. they don't think like we do. they don't negotiate like werners do. their idea of a negotiation is not a quid pro quo but instead their view is, okay, we're going to make a concession. we're going to give them a little time so that they arrive at our conclusion. that's their generally idea of negotiation. i will also add one more element to why is this in our interests, improve the relationship, and that's a humanitarian one. we have a young man in north korea, detainee by the name of kenneth bey, a tour operator who has been sentenced to 15 years, who possibly could
be in a labor camp and somehow the cries for his release and humanitarian release have not been as strong as other detainees. so, let me get back to the second issue and that is, what are they up to? when i was in north korea kim jong-un, the new leader, gave a speech and he basically said, we want to do two things in our country. we want to improve the economy, focus on the quality of life which as you know is not good, and secondly we want to continue our nuclear weapons program. that are parallel goals he gave in speech to speech and has continued giving. so that could be a change in policy. in the past there was perhaps a view that they would start to denuclearize.
they shut down some reactors. they let the iaea in. they took certain steps but this time there is nothing, at the end of the tunnel that suggests, that that is something that they're prepared to do. that doesn't mean they won't. i don't think they have shown their final cards. they have continued missile launches, hostile rhetoric, underground tests. they have, unlike other cases with humanitarian releases have not even hinted at having high-profile americans come and bring americans or others back from north korea. in the old days it used to be the c-team, the richardsons of the world that would bring back
prisoners. then it became the a-team, president clinton, jimmy carter. but this time there seems to be a view that the north koreans are sending a signal, we don't like americans coming in and we've told you that they shouldn't come in and if they continue coming in, we're not going to let them go. i think that is a possible change in policy but again, who knows. now, let me go to the young leader. 30 years old or 29. i notice unlike his father he is a better politician. he seems to speak well. he seems to move around like a politician. when you're around somebody like me that's been around 12 elections you notice how these
guys shake hands and move around and give a speech and i think he is more politically at ease than his father. he seems to connect better with the average north korean, but, as we know this is a cult of personality. this is a society that engages in many brainwashing of the people and at the same time this is a society that reverse leadership. so what is he like? very few have met him. a chinese envoy has met him. possibly don gregg has or knows more about him than i do and by the way i think we have excellent intelligence agencies and, nsa, cia, they're excellent but when it comes to north korea
we don't have much. i hope i haven't violated classified information but there is little that we can pin down about this man. regime change. i don't see any possibility. i know there are those who say that their economy is going to collapse. it is in terrible shape. people are starving, no question there are ghoul logs, no question. -gulags. every single many foment may be there that lead to insurrection may be there to our eyes but internally i don't see it happens. now i found that kim jong-un has wide support. i admit a lot of my visits have been in guest houses, government guest houses and been treated well but i have ventured out into subways and fields and i have a little bit of an antenna
and my sense is that because of their very strict cult of personality, that, he retains the support of his people. and when his people don't see outside of what is capable in a democratic society, they don't see openness, they have hardly any internet, the television is controlled, it is not as if they have a lot of options to seek alternative courses of leadership. i'll get to the last point because i know we want to listen to don and get a lot of questions from you. so what do we do about all this? you know, i'm not of the school and i don't think don is, well, let's bomb them, let's outlast them, let's continue sanctions. if we have additional more sanctions, i don't think there are any left. i think we have ever conceivable, multilateral,
bilateral sanction, and when you're squeezing an entity or a group of people that don't have much, i don't know if that provides much leadership, much leverage. possibly there is some banking sanctions that have not actually gone into effect. some that we had before under kim jong-il but, i'm wondering whether our policy right now is, i don't know what it is. i'm not privy to the policy. i think secretary kerry is a bright secretary of state. open-minded. he has said some things as a senator that i think make sense, a new kind of engagement with north korea but i don't know what we are planning and it is not my role to examine what we're planning because i don't know what it is.
now, what do we do about north korea? i think engagement, and by the way, i think in the very nice introduction you can see i have talked to some of the people in the world like saddam hussein and castro and the north koreans, and ba'asyir of sudan. president clinton used to say, let's send richardson, bad people like him. so what i'm trying to say is that, it is important nonetheless to engage bad people. do it right. don't necessarily offer concessions just because you're meeting but i do think engagement is bert than isolation. and i think isolating north korea is not working. it is not going to work but obviously it takes two to tango and when north korea doesn't respond, it makes it hard to have a concrete, six-party
policy, asian policy, south korean policy, american policy. so i will conclude with this. what do i think are the main entities and actors we need with north korea? we need what is called out of the box diplomacy. we need perhaps, special envoys. we need perhaps sports diplomacy. i'm one of those, by the way, that doesn't begrudge the dennis rodmans and others that might be able to open up a nation. don gregg brought the philharmonic orchestra there from new york. i thought that was a wonderful move. music, culture, interlocutors that we haven't thought of. other countries, south korea, i think it is very well-positioned, the new leader of south korea, she is the
daughter of former president park. not exactly a progressive. a hard-liner he was much. i think she has those credentials. she is, i think, made the right moves verbally. i don't know if it's going to lead towards more engagement. i am encouraged that the kay song talks opening up at the -- quesong at the industrial park are going on. back to the north korean policy, this is the first time they shut down that facility when there was tension, which provides 50,000 jobs to north koreans, 50,000 jobs, that's a lot. they were willing to shut down, so there is a hardening i believe. i will add just a little bit. i think kim jong-un is trying to impress his people. he is trying to impress his military leadership. i think he has got some relatives that are influencing him in negive way.
i think he is preaching to an audience and basically showing his stuff before he formulates himself as the leader. so, part of what he's doing i believe is to strengthen and buttress his own internal position. he has been there about a little over a year. china. everyone always says, china's the key. if china puts leverage on north korea, they're going to fold. you know what? i don't think so. hire's y. -- why. china doesn't want hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming into their country. number two, china and russia have a strange new alliance which i think is to cause us a little trouble besides the fact
that there's strategic relationship and possibly they're talking to each other on north korea. number three, there have been some signs that china has lost a little bit of its patience with north key and -- north korea and that is basically over the latest tests and i do believe that they have made overtures, squeezed the north koreans, gone to the u.n. and participated in the drafting of some of the tougher sanctions. so it could be that they're losing a little patience but the question is, are they really ready to put on the screws? the answer is, i don't think so. and number two, if they do put on the screws, will the north koreans react? i don't think so. but, they might because china has substantial food, fuel, and other leverage. so then what do we do? u.s. policy, i'm of the view
that we should let these other actors, south korea china, possibly, two new interlocutors that i think could play a role. both have a south korean heritage. he ask the president of the world bank. very creative guy. i would love to see the world bank and the e.u. do an economic study of north korea an see if there is any, just a study, what needs, humanitarian mainly. baby food, they really need that. number two, ban ki-moon, former foreign minister, probably tough for him politically, of south korea but maybe the u.n., they used to have a u.n. envoy, a canadian. i can't remember his name. >> [inaudible] >> maurice strong. maybe that is a potential role for the north koreans i don't know that they will accept. so i've gone, i said 15 minutes. i've gone 16.
and, i'll conclude with this. i do think some creative thinking is needed. i don't know who has all the answers but sometimes it's not just governments. sometimes its the asia society. sometimes its scholars. sometimes it is out of the box diplomacy. sometimes it is the u.n. sometimes it is regular human beings. sometimes it is special envoys, jimmy carters, don gregg, myself. sometimes it's media but i think that's the kind of fresh thinking that needs to evolve. because what is happening now, just in conclusion, is not good for the international community. it is not good for the region. it is not good for north korea and it's not good for the u.s. thank you. [applause]
>> where do you want me? >> well, governor richardson, thank you for an illuminating and stimulating start. always fantastic when you're asked to moderate a discussion and the main speaker asks five questions and answers five questions. so i would say it just goes to show you journalists are utterly redundant, really. let me just remind people who might be watching or listening online that we do welcome your questions. you can, you can tweet us with the hashtag, ask asia, or you can e-mail questions in to firstname.lastname@example.org. i will endeavor to get to some
of those questions over the course of the remaining time we've got. but governor richardson, let me begin by sort of asking you to paint a picture because you've had the privilege of going there eight times. many of us have not. what is life, you said, fascinating that you think that, that the young leader has the support of his people. but on the streets of pongyang and most interestingly outside pongyang, what is life like really for the people of north korea? what do they have to look forward to when they wake up every morning? >> there's a wide gap between the city, pyongyang, and rural areas. rural areas are a horrendous economic shape. you can go out in the countryside and see some of the agricultural tools, the tractors they're using.
they're following, they're falling apart. you go into a school in pyongyang, there is no heat. all the kid are in school with these huge coats on. there is no light. there's, there's obviously a an electricity shortage, problem that i detected this last visit that i didn't before. most of those in north korea, the military provide probably the more viable jobs. the military gets a lot of the food, the humanitarian aid. there's obviously a huge investment in weapons. one of the, my last point is i did go with eric schmidt of google and schmidt, in our visit , took out his computer, his google stuff, and he was the star of the visit.
i was just another politician. the government, students, software engineers, they all crewed around him. now they limit the internet but i believe that our technology, and the thirst of the internet and technology in, among the north korean people is going to be a factor that will play a role in moderating the country. you know, i wish i had more answers. i've had some success negotiating with them, american soldiers, prisoners, food but then other times i come back like this last visit empty-handed. my hope was they not launch another es missile and they did. i hope to come back with kenneth bay and they wouldn't let me see him. so, it's very difficult to predict next. >> don, diplomacy is about, and the governor talked about it taking two to tango.
in this stance there is a new president in the south. you know her. you knew her father. what likelihood do you think, in a sense it takes the daughter of a hard-liner who can say things and do things if you're seen as a liberal maybe you can't? what hopes do you have for her, changing the dynamics on the peninsula? >> i have a lot of hopes for her personally. i knew her as a younger woman. i was in seoul as chief of station for cia when her mother was assassinated. the north koreans tried to kill her father. missed the father and killed the mother and she went to north korea in 2000 one and met kim jong-il. and, i saw her in 2000 two at the opening of the world cup and congratulated her forgoing to
north korea. she said we must look to the future with hope, not to the past with bitterness. i think that is a astonishing statement. she talks about trust poll teak, as sort of the descendant of willie brandt's politkue. i haven't haven't seen too much of her being able to build that into her policy as of now. there are usually postelection things in the south. a few people get arrested for corruption. their intelligence service is now some sort of disgrace. that happens from time to time as as somebody i know directly from my own experience with cia. but i am very hopeful that she can make a difference. and i think of all the players that, bill, you mentioned, i think she probably is best
placed to open up some sort of running room for other people and i would like to say something about the new head of the asia society, josette, shiren. i watched her ted talk when she was head of the world food programme. and maybe three years ago. and it is stunning, and her knowledge of the food situation and her focus on places like north korea and the need to get nutrients to infants quickly so they are not permanently damaged. that cries aloud for implementation in north korea and i'm now head of our chairman of the pacific century institute and i was galvanized by that and we're going to try and do something about that and get other people involved because
that kind of gesture can build trust where there is no trust now. >> governor, take us inside the oval office. when president park came to the white house and sat with president obama, what do you think he would say to her? what is it, how does the united states administration incentivize both side in korea to try to both beyond where we are now? the truth is really only they can. would that be your sense, that actually the two main actors really who can shift things are on the peninsula? >> you know, it's, i'm going to go back to, you're putting into a real-life situation. my concern, and everyone, well, i'm a big supporter of the president, there's no question
about it but i worry that our policy over the years with north korea is not been imaginative enough. i think president clinton, the great framework was good. i think president bush moved from, he moved from confrontation to more engagement but there was a certain inconsistency. i do think, and i defer to don's view on this, that too many times we listened too much to south korean domestic politics. i'll be honest. i'm part of government. if i offend somebody nobody cares but i have always felt that somehow, and we should respect the sanctity of our allies, south korean politics but i've been asked many times when i was going to north korea, oh, don't go, don't go. i said, why not?
because you will influence the south korean election. they don't care about me. i did defer on those times to go. i didn't defer on this last one. i did differ because there was an election. i think basicallies, i hope not, i think the president said hey, what do you think? we'll do what you want. we'll back you 100%. instead of saying, okay, let's try something new. why don't you reach out to her, reach out to the north? let's find ways to increase the caisson, reopen that, or, why don't we re-engage humanitarian aid? i think it was cut off. let's try something new instead of cheerleading each other. that's what i think has happened. >> one of the interesting things that the governor raised on was, about leadership and whether it's about north korea, whether it's about syria, whether it is about who is really in charge. and to what extent kim jong-un
he knows more about the outside world than his grandfather or his father and i think i absolutely agree with you that he is a strong political -- so i think he is in charge. i think the chances of resuming changer milled so strategic patience, which is what the so-called policy is called is going to get us nowhere i think. the president has had, president obama whom i strongly support has had other huge crashing questions like dealing with our congress. and so north korea is not a high priority and it has not had a passionate advocate of north korea, anywhere near to it. there aren't many passionate advocates of north korea. i'm not a passionate advocate. i call north korea the longest running failure in the history of american espionage and i am
very well qualified to say that he could as i chased them around unsuccessfully for about 30 years. they are a very tough nut to crack that there are big concern is their relationship with us. that is the key to the denuclearization and that is the key to stability, of the whole region and i think we have to start from where we are which is in sort of a pit and beginning to build trust. >> jon i think don is totally right. the north koreans have actually said to me, they said you know us, north korea dprk and huey are the powers here. we should settle all this. we should form an alliance. let's not overdo it here. so they see, and so when you say okay let china be in interlocutor they say why china? lets you and i discuss it.
let's have bilateral talks. the six-party talks, i think they have vanished especially now with russia and china playing this game. i'm not saying you abandon the six-party talks. well, in a way i do. i think some new constellation involving it needs to happen but the north koreans, they see if we reached out to them and said all right let's have a nail asean, they would jump at that. a lot of it is personal, it's ego it is we are powerful. respect us and i say to them they action to take don't indicate you should get this respect. you know when you start calming people and islands and don has got an interesting theory about the bombing of that ship. when you start kidnapping people and when you start doing the things you have this rhetoric of
yours, you don't instill much confidence. >> it's interesting you say that because i will tell you guys, so the guy who was the former chinese ambassador told me a story that in 2006 he and kim jong un, he knew kim jong-il better than most people. essentially he was the chinese sponsor. in 2006 they stayed up watching the u.s. midterm elections, the two of them because cam was obsessed with u.s. policy and the idea that actually they also view america as the big man and this idea that relationships are personal, absolutely the chinese as well and they are fascinating. this guy is very very interesting on kim. so when the chinese essentially grow bored of the histrionics
and oppose financial sanctions on the north korean central bank which is a big thing, for beijing to do and pyongyang doesn't mean the world has got with pyongyang. nothing happens. stephen north koreans do not like the chinese. i was taken to a newly built museum of history that flattened pyongyang in the water and there were metal is -- marvelous battle paintings all around the ceiling. i said who are the bad guys and the answer was always the chinese. i talked to the chinese about their dealings with the north koreans and it's very difficult. the north koreans don't like to be the holden to anybody. so that i think the chinese have influence but i think it's limited influence. i think our ability to influence
north korea is huge but our potential, we limit ourselves by handcuffing ourselves with something called strategic missions. >> jon back to the chinese question because everyone says why can't we get the chinese to do more? here is another theory that i have and i am not a china expert and i'm sure there are a lot here. i asked myself of china and the united states see each other as competitors and by the way i am a free trader. i think we have got to deal with this huge emerging power in a positive way, but we are competitors and i said to myself if i am china and i see turmoil in northeast asia and the u.s. supplying resources i don't want all of these refugees in my country. why should i help the u.s.? the turmoil is good for the u.s.. that's if i'm a chinese
policymaker. maybe i will be challenged by a china expert here but why should we help the u.s.? even after pressure from the u.s.. >> let me ask you both a couple of questions, one from the korea herald. when kim jong un.power upon his father's death in december of 2011 hopes emerged that the young educated leader would bring about some change in the isolated society. why do you think kim failed to change the country? is it because of his belligerent character or because of the political system in which vested interest resist any changes? >> i think it's a question of how you define change. i think he was smart enough to realize that when he took power the first thing he had to do if he was going to be effective at all was to establish his own legitimacy. that was the change he had to bring to north korea and the idea of changing it to make us happier is still a rather low priority for him because he is not sure what it would gain from
us, because we don't really respond much better. when he first appeared on the scene in two and 2009, i sent a memo to the vice president saying why don't we invite him to the united states for an orientation tour? he's going to be running korea sooner or later and he's going to be around for 30 or 40 years. it would be helpful if he came here to learn something about us and we would learn something about him. i said the invitation might not be accepted but the fact that it was offered would be recognized and it was turned down saying oh the republicans would laugh us out of town. i think that was a mistake. i'm glad you sort if approved as -- i wish it would have been michael jordan. it would have been a little easier for us to relate to it but the things you mentioned, more sports, more unorthodox kinds of things. bring them out of their isolation because by bringing them out of their isolation they
will more clearly realize it's in their own interest to change. that is how you get at the gulag my early days in the cia we had eight countries where we have are going to bring about regime change at number one was iran which we are still paying the consequences of that. number two as guatemala. that has created genocide in the third with cuba. the dulles brothers tore up their list at that point. i think the way to change a regime is to help the change itself because it realizes it needs to change and that will only come as they become closer and more clearly oriented to the outside. >> jon i don't want to -- i don't want everybody to leave with a view that this is an intractable and possible problem and by the way in politics there are sometimes problems that you can't resolve. i am not getting into that, but i see a little light at the end of the tunnel. i see the absence of heated
rhetoric lately. i see the caisson talks may be coming back. i'm talking about north korea. i see them kind of floating out. we want to talk to the u.s. bilaterally and then we say you have to denuclearize or include that and the north koreans don't come back and say well then go to hell. i see some little movement. icy envoys from north korea going to certain parts of asia. i see some of the people that i dealt with it may be done.with too like the nuclear negotiator. he is a pragmatist. i hope i'm not running him in north korea now. but some of the foreign ministry people. you know it's like almost you've got the military and they are hardliners in my worry that some hard-line military guys are -- kim jong un and that is one of my worries by the way. i think those foreign ministry types are kind of reemerging.
i recently met with the north koreans here in new york, the new people. they have a new team and i said well what about so-and-so, some of your friends? well, don't overdo that. that is supposed to be funny. [laughter] it's not funny anymore. so i see a little light at the end of at least the rhetoric. i think there is a little movement there and so i am saying let's grab that movement. maybe the south korean president is the key. maybe some kind of new envoy or some kind of world bank initiative or ban ki-moon or something, the u.n.. >> what do you say to the military the hard-liners? there is an interesting question coming from facebook from josé medea from the university of chicago. basically asking is the fact
that the united states has still got 30,000 people on the peninsula also a provocation particularly when they engage in war games with the south koreans at a time where it's quite sensitive, and then the north koreans react and maybe seem very surprised that north koreans react. >> the north koreans have always reacted with great hostility to our training exercises. when i was an ambassador we had something called team spirit which was a reenactment of our intervening to repel the north korean invasion and whenever we did that the north koreans went on major alert thinking that we might be actually coming in. and i got the pentagon to cancel that operation one year, and that opened up all kinds of things. we also got our nuclear weapons out of south korea and the combination of those two things opened up all kinds of
north-south contacts and then dick cheney who was the secretary of defense, without consulting the state department, put that team spirit and the north koreans saw that as undoing everything we had done. they pulled out at the ntt and they major crisis was caused so you've got to be consistent. we haven't done that. we always blame them for doing something that they have the same men in dealing with us for a dozen years and they remember all the naughty things we have done in support traits be given things like face is so important to culture. do you think sometimes we just don't quite get that? >> yeah, i won't say who but i was told that
be bipartisan, give me a republican the secretary, anyway, so we both planned and they turned over seven remains to us. we had proper ceremonies in north korea so they said look we want to increase these military ties. there are more of these remains here. there are about 1000 according to some of the organizations that specialize in this. i think this is another area of potential, potential cooperation that the political side says don't do that because that is something we want. we pay them for that, but that's another area of military-to-military. u.s. military to north korea military, south korea military, you know those joint exercises the telephone said they have and things like that. symbolic things in asia are much
more important than they are to us. >> lets open it up to some questions on the floor. it would really help if you could say who you are before you address your question. >> hi my name is james. i recently came back from burma and uganda which is the threshold capital. capital. there was an assassination attempt where the eig as north korean agents tried to assassinate a korean official. i wanted to know the burmese didn't know the purpose of such that i knew didn't know the purpose of such an attack was in the korean tourists who i was traveling burma through with had no compassion for the north koreans that they knew in seoul who've managed somehow to much
hardship to escape north korean police. they just saw them as rubes and just as inherently lazy and the south koreans that i talked to had no, absolutely no desire for a unified korea. it wasn't like, it wasn't a replay of germany that was divided by cold war or even a vietnam vet was divided. >> what is the question? >> my question is can you provide some insight into why it's south koreans especially the young have no patriotism or a united korea and what is the purpose of north korea agents for assassinating south korean officials? >> that took place in 1983 in rangoon. he was late coming to the temple that they had and they killed seven or eight very key people including the foreign minister
and several other folks. it was one of several attempts north korea made to kill the president of south korea. the view of the kids in t south for a long time they were afraid of north korea. when north korea was divided by the united states, now south korea was much weaker than north korea and there was much fear in seoul for years. now that fear is gone because seoul is so much stronger economically than north korea and with that fear has gone some feeling of sadness for the south. and defectors are usually not warmly received. i worked with a lot of soviet defectors when i was with the cia and they were never happy. home is home and what they receive a makeover is never at home and they are always
recorded as people who can't be trusted and sort of regarded as the debris of a failing society. >> there is a question right here. >> herbert levin. next week i think it's 60 years since the cease-fire was achieved and certainly it's not only intelligence failure but policy failure that brought about the nuclear the nuclear weapons in the north and continued occasional firings yet every time administrations of both parties have had an urge to try and get into realistic negotiations with the north there has been enormous a tax that were selling out the south or the lower morale and at one point i was told he could go forward with something like that if you get a half dozen senators
and congressman pre-position to say this is a great idea. i wonder whether you see in the present congress and eight enlightens personalities who might stand up and endorse a real effort towards the north and going to a more difficult one, of course the congress is very easy to understand. going to a more difficult one we know what we have asked the chinese to do and why they have not felt that they should oblige us. what if the chinese told us to do? >> well, look, right now the days when partisanship's stopped at the water's edge are over. it's unfortunate almost every corner of policy issue there is a political divide that really is unacceptable. i have never seen it as bad as it is on egypt, on syria. on north korea i mean this is a
chance for both parties, both senators, you could be really tough and you're not going to have any political liability. i think that kind of limits our policy options. i'm not saying that north korea deserves to be praised. it doesn't. but that doesn't mean we don't try to engage in a more, i won't say realistic, effective way. let's try something new. what we do is they have rhetoric, they do underground tests and there are more sanctions, let's talk again. both sides dance around but what i think is needed is some kind of new bipartisan view. i don't have an answer so you are not looking at somebody who has got a clear answer. but i think in attention and i think don is right.
there are so many problems around the world, our own economy, that this kind of is pushed aside this pushed aside and when the north koreans, the rhetoric heats up, all right let's deal with it but you basically don't change. i think the chinese tell us okay, we are pressuring them. we are tough on them but there is so much we can do. i think there is a lot more the chinese can do. i have said that but again with the north koreans aren't going to listen. that's an open question. >> i think the chinese tell us that we have to do more, do what we are asking them to do is to make up for a very ineffective policy on our part. i went through a series of meetings several years ago when played brilliant chinese -- and we have sort of a mock six-party talks. he just made it very clear that
the chinese felt that the u.s. policy, it was the cause of the problem. we weren't offering north korea anything. all we were doing was denigrating them and i think i am very glad that the president met with president g. and i think china is never going to be an ally but we can be a partner at times and i think we have certain things in common now with the chinese. i think the chinese do i -- not want north korea to be, permanent nuclear power and i think we can work with them to work against that. but that's going to take more positive engagement on our part with north korea for that to happen. >> some questions in the back. >> i am correct that from tokyo broadcasting system. earlier mr. richardson you spoke
about the importance of dealing with batman and i love the ideas about using more imagination in diplomacy in dealing with north korea but i wonder how can we do that in a way that doesn't endorse the humanitarian violations? >> well, again i noticed there is an election in iran and now everyone is talking about a new moderate president there. i don't know if that is the case. i have my doubts but i am not saying there is in the international community there is a dual inconsistent policy but we have seen with iran it hasn't developed a nuclear weapon but there a major oil power and major powers in the region that we always say okay let's give
them another shot of dialogue. and they have got repressive tendencies they are too, so what i'm saying with north korea is that one, dialogue is important. if you don't talk to each other you just do it through rhetoric, the press, who is tougher, it's not going to work. if you don't encourage other players in the region encourage them to play a role, it's a problem. this is why he i said you need some creative out-of-the-box thinking, out-of-the-box actors. you know it's not only politicians and the state departments. they change thing for things for the better. it's other entities. i am saying i don't have the answer but what we are doing and what is happening now in the international community and asia, the six-party countries, it's just not working for either side.
>> let me just jump in quickly. i think the sump simple diplomatic stroke the united states has made since the end of world war ii is -- can you do that at a time when mouse a tongue's hand was dripping with the blood of 19 to 20 million people who died in the cultural revolution. so that was endorsing what they had done? absolutely not. it would seem very correctly as the only way to get them to stop doing that. so that is the point of dialogue. you are not saying hey it's okay we don't care who you put in the gulag. we are saying to them get out of their isolation. get out of the cave and make yourself realize a junior own interest. >> there is an adjusting question coming from jay at columbia university which speaks of the inconsistency point. the u.s. does not seek to denuclearization of other
countries like pakistan india israel of the russian federation or china. isn't the goal of denuclearization with the dprk rather than including the u.s. umbrella at policy of particular hostility towards north korea? could the u.s. include the nuclear umbrella into the denuclearization? >> i think that's a very good question. the last time i met with the north koreans was a year ago in march here in new york. and some provocative -- that these were people representing kim jong on and some pretty provocative things were said by the united states on the bad tendency we have to dehumanize countries we neither like nor understand. we fill our gaps of ignorance with rhetoric as we did with north korea and as we did with vietnam.
and the second ranking person in the north korean delegation said that if you would really treat us with respect and extends to us the same i'm pro-of nuclear protection that you extend japan's we would give up are new clear weapons. and the moderator, the germans first homage to hear that. i think that question is a very good one. the north koreans have said that to me. >> i think the worry we should have is an international community obviously him by and by the way i think the administration has tried to get nuclear countries to reduce etc.. but the real worry that i have is the export of nuclear materials be enriched uranium. i recall being in north korea that time and there was suspicion of the ties with syria and i think with burma too.
and i said to them, you are not exporting your nuclear materials are you? that's crazy. why are you doing that and they said -- i said are you doing it and the answer was maybe. i said what do you mean? so you are doing it. he said said we have no foreign-exchange. i said that's not a good way to get foreign exchange and then they shot at while we are sanctioned by everyone. i'm not justifying it but that nuclear material to ban its international outlaws and the al qaeda as of the world to get these guys out on the black market and trying to get some form of exchange. so that's another reason i should have put it as why is this important to reduce tension? we don't want that happening. it it's not good. whether it's pakistan or whether it's north korea or whether it's anybody. >> to don's point, do you worry
that this country is not well understood by people at the top and certainly not well understood by people, by the rest of us in the same is true in reverse. and actually what more can we do? in a way china 30 years ago, 40 years ago was not well understood either and yet we now all better understand china because there are thousands of chinese students who come to study in the united states or the united kingdom, thousands of tourists. we are not going to get any north korean tourist anytime soon but what ways can we do to break down that mistrust and to aid the knowledge and the understanding, mutual understanding? >> it has to come to human contact. we can't do it in the abstract. i remember my first visit to north korea 11 years ago, they were aware of a lousy book by
tom clancy called off-center where the chief figure was a man named gregory donald and my name is donald gregg. that man had been chief of station and station in seoul and an ambassador to seoul and i said how in the world did you come up with that? he said don't assume that we know as little of our view as you know about us. and i think they know much more about us. i think they are much more acquainted with what makes us tick then we are in terms of what makes them tick. and you don't get to know that in the abstract. you get to know that by working with them and that is what we have been unwilling to do. and there is you know, in 2002 i hand carried a message to the white house that i had come
directly from kim jong-il offering to open up talks if we would treat them with respect. and i they took it directly to the white house. i got in to see steve hadley. he read it and he said no we won't talk to them. that would be rewarding bad behavior. i was in and out of the white house in 20 minutes and not a single question was asked if my of my trip, who i had seen, why they sent it and that kind of behavior on our part is just not going to get us anywhere with north korea. >> steve let's go right to the back. we have a question right in the back. >> my name is valerie gordon. i have spent a lot of my time trading with china early on and my question really is nobody has really addressed the trade issue. why aren't we going to them with some sort of it tripartite trade
incentive? we have a president, something called 807 though you probably know about that. that is where we traded with mexico and the united states and allowed to the preference to products that came in from mexico. why couldn't we do something tripartite with south korea north korea and the united states opening its market to manufacturing under those circumstances? >> you know the reason is that sanctions don't permit it. what you are saying is that we unload the sanctions in this limited area. is that what you are advocating? you know, trade, people-to-people stuff. don mentioned he brought the philharmonic here. they really thought that was a big deal. they thought that was going to follow it and they did once say to me can i bring michael jordan? i said well, and look there is no secret.
kim jong-il liked the western movie so sometimes when i went there i would get whispered bring some videos, give no the old cds. i would bring butch cassidy and the sundance kid and i know it was well received. it didn't necessarily bring peace but i recall in his last trip, and i wish -- i know you invited eric schmidt to come the google guy but he had ruined traction with north korean students at this high-tech school, this computer school. they treated him like a rock star and i didn't see any hostility they are. i ventured over the years i've ventured into the weddings. the outdoor weddings and outdoor restaurants, the subway. i love the subways there. you just get in there. i never detected any hostility,
not that there were language barriers but i had some interpreters. i am an american. i think there is a people-to-people potential that we can work together. the hostility yeah itself the government level and the military i am sure towards us but people-to-people, i never detected that negativity. >> i have got to say i did not take the philharmonic there. it went in i happen to be there at the same time. [laughter] but one of the great things about it is the master classes afterwards. i went around and there were individual musicians from the symphony who were giving lessons to individual north koreans and both sides were astonished by it. the americans were astonished at how good the north koreans weren't the north koreans were astonished that we were willing to do it so it was a great thing. you give me infinitely more credit than i deserve. >> a question just in the second
row here. >> ambassador richardson and you start off by saying that you were taking some pause from a bit of a hardening of the attitudes and north korea and then you toward the end of your remarks you said you also saw glance of promise. and i wonder if those are two sides of the same coin in that what he is doing now, the new leader, is taking a hard stance to win the credibility at home to offer an olive branch to our side of this country and to us and perhaps other western powers. and they be those are signals that we should be reading to give us some hope that we can deal with this new leader. >> well i love you for being an optimist and i will say that is my hope. although it's like 95-5 on the hostility side, that 5% and the
fact -- and i read their diatribes. they have cooled down a lot. i see they are diplomats running around. i don't know where he was in china recently saying some dialogue. i see kim jong un. i think the 60th anniversary that you mentioned, that's going to be a big show and i know a lot of media is being invited. did you get invited? so it could be that a big signal may emerge there and i hope it's a good signal, not oh god we are going to take decapitate the u.s. were to south korea and everybody. that is my hope, that they love these big occasions, earth days, accession to power, anniversaries, funeral dates.
you kind of worried with them that they have so many of them but those are signals that might emerge. >> next question. there is a guy in a blue shirt, is it? the fourth row back. yes, you. forgive me, the lights are glaring. see this is for governor richardson and that is if you could advise the secretary general who suggests appointment somebody the north koreans would appreciate and the south koreans would appreciate. is there anyone you could suggest and i have a question for ambassador gregg and that is the north koreans have just had a press conference at the u.n. asking for the dissolution of the u.n. command which has nothing to do with the u.n..
i would wonder what your response is to that. we have the 60th anniversary coming up. is there any advice you could give about the conflict over the u.s. calling its activity the u.n. command? >> a special envoy i would recommend a nordic, in our region, a swede or -- does arise the good guys in the world, plus they have you know what? they have lots of money. the norwegians and they give a lot of humanitarian aid. probably i would even narrow it down to the norwegians because they always know how to move the oslo accords, peacekeeping. but i think that would be useful. the question is whether the north koreans would accept. i think maury strong did a good job but i don't think he is there anymore. there is an envoy so yeah i think as many entities that
engage that are outside the major powers plus the major powers combined, maybe they can come up with something. you know there are other issues besides the nuclear issue. there are sanctions, ending the state of war. there are issues relating to banking. you mentioned trade initiatives, other tools of better understanding. and by the way i am also going to say something. i don't want you well to forget about ken at day. he is an american. he is a prisoner and you know who i think is the only person i can get him out? >> michael jordan. >> dennis rodman. i am serious. as a gesture to him. now maybe jordan would but i think it's not going to be, and the north koreans have made a
plea. it's not going to be okay you send clinton. i think it's going to be something unorthodox but hopefully it will be resolved because this man deserves to come home. >> on the u.n., it's a highly charged symbolic issue. i think there are, when i was there there were less than a dozen u.n. troops but its symbolism. the u.n. intervened militarily. it's the only time it will really was ever able to do so when the soviets were boycotting the security council so the u.n. is a very strongly negative historic symbol as far as north korea is concerned. it's an interesting sort of new requests they would make. the symbolism is tremendously high and powerful. i'm not sure that we would consider it but it's interesting that you picked up on it.
>> a question there, the gentleman in the white shirt. >> when jon talked about north and south korea has two main actors and they have to be more active and when he said that you to -- and the question just disappeared so can you comment on that? to what degree north and south korea both countries are active and the activity outside of powers have in the interest on the matter? >> let me frame it slightly -- people both north and south who are heavily invested in the states, it's not in their interest for things to move
because there is a whole business and industry being set up in a sense keeping countries apart. >> i was always said -- i was quite close to kim zhong and a lot of our closest korean friends that we met in the 70s. they never got over that and they thought that the election was to save them from a return to the sort of sunshine policy mafia as it were and the divisions of thought and south korea towards the north are still very strong and they seemed to be a age-based. i don't think foreigners really can get at that. people old enough to remember the horrors of the korean war
have deeply ingrained feelings about that. there is a wonderful new book out called brothers at work by jaeger of overland. it's the best new book on korea that i have seen and it gets into that but that's a very tough issue. >> a question just here. i'm sorry you spoke actually. forgive me, okay. >> i am a journalist and i report for southeast asian publications. you ambassador, you spoke about out-of-the-box diplomacy. have you tried getting the asean into this dialogue with north korea because north korea has been sending feelers to some of the asean member states for economic interaction.
>> well, it may make sense to do that because you are right, north korea attend some of those asean meetings. i think asean is getting stronger particularly with the emergence of irma as a major actor there. i think that's good. yeah we need some new players. i think the six-party countries have run out of gas. now that doesn't mean that one by one you don't take it seriously. south korea can be a major player. the united states can be a major player. china can be a major player. russia, they are not participating. i think now, i really think there is something to this china russia relationship that is a little bit troubling to me because those are two takes big countries and i don't want them ganging up on us. but yeah new players, but north
korea has not had relationships with many countries. i don't want a new player. i don't want syria involved. obviously they have had a relationship with them. i just think it has to be in the region but again as don and i have said, eventually, here is my last point. the united states. everyone once in a while or occasionally in the press they dump on us. i go to conferences, they dump on us other countries but at the end of the conference they say okay america what are you going to do? we want you to leave. you have screwed up but you still lead. he even china has said that to us at conferences, not officially. so i think, i'm not saying it's our burden but come on, let's pay attention. we can't just think of one country serious. i am a big latin american.
look what is happening there with snowden. we would probably lose an oas vote in latin america and this is a region that is very close to us. >> one other thing i would say as we draw to a close as we mentioned what's going on at syracuse university at the maxwell school for more than 10 years, they approached me more than 10 years ago saying we took information technology into the soviet union and china and by so doing we feel that we have hastened the change in those two countries and we do it in north korea. they are doing it in north korea. there is a twin labs relationship between maxwell school and the university in pyongyang. we have trained north koreans m.i.t. techniques in beijing. they are almost as good at it as the south koreans are and why do we do it?
we do it because we feel the more information that comes into north korea, the more easily they will adapt to the fact that they have to join the family of the world and begin to treat their own people with the respect that they deserve. >> i am afraid we have run out of time and we could spend all evening talking about this fascinating subject but governor bill richardson at and ambassador don gregg thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
a live look at the capitol here where congress is returning today from the weekend break. later senators from both parties plan to hold a closed door joint caucus meeting in the old senate chamber to discuss changes to the voting rules for nontraditional nominees. the meeting is being held to discuss how to proceed with seven of presidenpresiden t thomas cabinet and other positions previously blocked by republican senators. senator reid has threatened to change the rules to lower the threshold for confirming the president's nominees from 60 votes to a simple majority. cq writing an 11th hour deal
could get it worked out behind closed doors this evening that democratic aides and experts believe it may be too late given that two handshake agreements between reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell republican of kentucky as well as modest changes to the rules earlier this year have not prevented lengthy delays in considering some nominations. reid claims to have the 51 votes needed to move forward with the so-called nuclear option and has scheduled a cloture vote on seven controversial nominations over which the gop has raised concern. reid's threat to republicans as quote approved the nomination soros we will push forward the rules change and that is from cq. majority leader reid is talking about those changes to the filibuster rules now at an event hosted by the center for american progress and you can watch that live on our companion network c-span. for more on this week's action in the senate we spoke this morning to a capitol hill reporter.
>> some other news we told you at the top the senate is going to be meeting this evening, all 100 senators invited to a closed-door meeting in the old senate chamber to talk about changing senate rules, possibly invoking the nuclear option, the so-called nuclear option. senate majority leader harry reid said he is heading that direction. congressional reporter joining us on the phone to talk a little bit more about this. they are going to meet behind closed doors. whose idea was this for the meeting and what is on the agenda? >> i think it originated from senator mcconnell's office the minority leader and i don't know, he hasn't got any sort of written agenda yet. i don't think we will see one. i think it's going to be kind of opportunity for everyone to clear their minds and maybe for possibly some sort of gang of x members of senators if they go that route to try to stop the senate from pursuing the nuclear option in the rules change. we will be looking to see if
there is a group that is trying to pursue some. >> host: the last time this was talked about in 2500 publicans control the senate there was a gang of 14 they came up with some sort of compromised proposal. is there a gang in the works right now? >> well not that i'm aware of yet and you know senators may have been quietly chatting over the weekend that they haven't had any face to face time and they will get that today in the session but it's also important to remember this came up more recently than 2005. it came up six months ago carl levin and john mccain negotiated a compromise that some people are derisively referring to is a gentleman's agreement and it doesn't function well. >> host: what was that agreement? >> guest: it was some minor rules changes and kind of a gentleman's agreement between reid and mcconnell. reid would not go forward with the nuclear option to change the rules and mcconnell said he would work cooperatively with
the majority to process nominations are now which of them is saying you have gone back on your word and i don't know if i can trust you anymore. >> host: what does the senate majority harry reid want to do? how does he want to change senate rules? >> guest: he wants to make it easier to confirm president barack obama's executive nominees and a very specific parcel of nominees that have been -- after that immigration bills that are controversial especially those for the national relations labor board and the consumer fiction here which are going to be heard in a recess appointment by the supreme court this fall. republicans don't want to touch them right now and democrats say we need to get these pushed through or we are going to invoke the nuclear option. there is also the department of labor epa export it import banks or the other nominees. >> host: republicans the party have already said let's move forward on these nominees.
do you see that results? >> guest: no, it's not resolve. not the nlrb or the nspd once. reid said of the votes on all these nominees for next tuesday. mcconnell made a counteroffer that did not include richard cordray for the cfp the end the nso see nominees. those are the sticking points. if the republicans allow votes on those nominees than that could defuse the entire drama. >> host: how does this all work then? so they meet tonight and we will see what comes out of that meeting ended there is some sort of compromise. if there is is not and as you said there are cloture votes on some of these nominees, so then how would the senate majority leader put this on the books, the so-called nuclear option? >> guest: you know the exact machinery for it, he asked
directly about this on thursday the meeting availability and the kind of pointed to his head and he said a set a solitaire but basically what would happen is they would use a majority vote to kind of overrule but normally you have 67 senators and they use the so-called constitutional option to override that. the filibuster threshold on executive nomination is 60-51 and i guess if that would happen as soon as these cloture votes were about to occur because we don't believe that they would get enough support to move forward on the cloture votes. reid might go to -- to pursue this tomorrow morning. >> host: purchase everett with politico thank you for your time this morning. we appreciate it. see thank you. spin again that closed-door meeting scheduled for 6:00 p.m. eastern and we will be following
any news coming out of the meeting and we will have that for you on the c-span networks. a c-span2 are now of the old senate chamber, the location of today's meeting. here is a look. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> i would have enjoyed being in the old senate chamber on the day it reopened. a marble of architecture and engineering, a marvel of american can-do spirit. it must have been such a startling contrast to everything around it, everything else in
the city, so muddy and dusty. everything else in the country, country where most of the people lived in log cabins. there is a credible temple temple to the legislative process with a marble columns imported italian marble caps, wall-to-wall carpet, luxurious draperies. it must have just been a stunning site. >> architecturally the room is just spectacular. the artwork in it was wonderful to have the portrait of george washington by rembrandt. it is they are from 1830s until 1859. it's george washington rising up into the heavens. it's sort of an apotheosis image of our first president. underneath are at the words father of our country. the painting is often known as about the porthole portrait because washington is encased in a porthole of floral and
oakleaves and above him the symbolic head of jupiter. of course just like washington with a godlike figure. it's really a great symbolic image. it's become associated with the senate here in the old senate chamber and then the shields above the dais and again great symbolic sort of american icon here in the building, in this room right above where the vice president would would have presd and where the senate would have met during that 1810 to 1859 period. see william henry seward of new york and henry clay of kentucky, stephen douglas of illinois hannibal hamline of maine, daniel webster massachusetts who was cast in michigan john c. calhoun of south carolina and sam houston of texas and that's just the beginning. this was the very apex of the golden age of the senate. modern visitors go into the chamber and everything is clean and fresh smelling.
if you were to bring back a senator from the 1819 or 1830 period they would probably double over in laughter. it just wasn't like that at all. this was like the floor of a stock market merchandise exchange just before the closing bell. it's the only place where people had a place to work. a senator's desk in the senate chamber was his office. there was no other place to go. >> imagine no electricity, no furnaces. and spittoons. you see some spittoons here as well. >> those pristine clean new carpets would not have put like that for very long. looking at those spittoons sitting in the senate chamber tells you a lot. every senator had a spittoon and every senator disregarded as a
result of patterns all over the floor. >> if your member charles dickens works of famous writer once said if -- he would not even use a glove to pick it up. i was not in here in 1860 to see how dirty that was what i can imagine it was pretty dirty. >> the this is the room where the senate became the senate that we know today. when the senate first moved in here, it was a pale reflection of its modern south. it was sort of the rubberstamp for the house of representatives , not a lot of major ideas came out of the senate in that early. matt.all of a sudden 1819, 1820 the major issue before the nation became slavery. the great orators ,-com,-com ma the great thinkers who are in the house of representatives to decide the place for them to be is in the senate. this is the forage on which the union was defined.
is that a group of states or is it something greater than the group of states? people used to line use to line up at dawn to get in the senate chamber to hear daniel webster. >> great he had this eloquent manner about him and everybody felt even if it wasn't the greatest speech they had ever heard they could tell their children or grandchildren that they had heard the great daniel webster speak at one time. he could speak for days on an issue but they somehow were able to get to the nub of what the issue was and we remember him today not for the length of his speeches but for a certain telling phrases. i speak today not as a massachusetts man but as an american. >> henry clay used to sit in the back of the senate chamber and people would say has he got more seniority? why doesn't he move down towards the front where the leader said today? i think henry clay never wanted to turn his back on any of his enemies or friends for that matter. clay became synonymous with for
my sins he was trying to reconcile the interests of the north and the south and was able to kind of keep control over the senate. people charged him with being the dictator and he said i am not the dictator. i am one of the number of senators. he knew as well that he was the tater. .. and in his last appearance in the senate chamber, he was too weak to actually deliver the speech he had written and he had to sit and listen as another senator. he was dying. so the man's life was completely absorbed in the united states capitol in one way or another. and it would have been quite remarkable to actually see him in action. >> the senate of the 1850's was
often referred to as a dueling ground or as a brawling pit >> it was referred to as a brawling pit, a bear garden where contestants came in, and generally, not physically, but verbally took on one another. members carried a loaded pistol into the chamber, and they didn't do that for no reason. they did it because the atmosphere in the senate chamber and across from the house chamber as well was explosive. >> it was during the coming period of the coming of the civil war in the 1850s when it was really a terrible time in which the members of congress were abusing one another, the language used, and very distinguished senator, elegant, arrogant, educated, wonderful
speaker got up and gave an address called the crime against kansas. >> in the process of making the speech, a hi tacked a few senators verbally like steven douglas of illinois who recalled him some squat animal not worth very much and andrew butler, a senator from south carolina who was not present in the chamber that day. well, several days later, a relative of butler came into the senate chamber pressing brooks, a house member from south carolina, and beat the living daylights out of charles with the kane and nearly killed him. in is 1856, very symbolic, because this forum of deliberate debate turned into a brawling room, and the civil war was not far behind. ♪
>> while it i voked the webster calhoun, it's a shrine to the members. it's an important space in the capitol. the senators recognize it's important when they come into this room. they remember those great senators of the 19th century, and so it's important to not just think about its past, but it's importance to the current members of the senate. ♪ >> and live now to the brookings institution for remarks from jeffrey felton, said of the diplomatic arm, keynote speaker on the role of the united nations, introductions are being made, and this is live coverage on c-span2. >> jeff brings to his present
job the experience of 26 years as a foreign service officer. he has had many tours. i think it's safe to say none of them easy, all of them important. he's been posted in and working on lebanon as the u.s. ambassador. he's worked in and on iraq, tunisia, the issues around jerusalem and its status, gaza, and as assistant secretary of state for mideast affairs under former secretary of state, hillary clinton. he rode the tiger of what we're calling and colleagues were one of the first to call the aircraft awaken -- arab awakening, and he did so with great skill. after the united nations, he's essentially the head of the
organization's diplomatic arm, and he's going to give us a sense of the way in which the united nations and his office is dealing with crisis and a number of parts of the world including what we all agree is the number one problem in this period, and that's syria. he'll also be touching on somalia, mali, and some other issues as well. jeff is going to begin his program with about 30 minutes of remarks, and then we're going to have a panel discussion. that brings me to ambassador of norway. it's been almost a common place for me when i come to the lectern to recognize him in the front row. after five years as norway's ambassador here in washington,
he's now the outgoing ambassador, but in two senses. one, he's going out of washington to go back to oslow to be the political director of the ministry of foreign affairs, but he's been extraordinary effective the way he gets around town, including, very often coming here to the events, occasionally asking a question, but basically being part of the audience, and, today, it's our great good fortune that he's going to be a part of the discussion. before i turn to the other members of the panel, i just want to say you have been an extraordinary friend, beneficiary, sporter to the brookings institution. you have enabled us to work on a number of issues that you, jeff, and others will be talking about here today. on a particularly personal note,
i want to say that you and cecila will be missed in this town, but both of you get around, and many of us get
around, and we look forward to seeing a lot of you in the years to come. also on the panel, we have bruce jones, a senior fellow in the foreign policy program here at brookings, manager of global order project, and he has variety roles working on the middle east peace process, kosovo, and other tough issues. he was also a particularly influential and trusted adviser to secretary general onan. the panel discussion will be moderated by martin, who is the vice president and director
foreign affairs program, but for purposes of today's event, the real claim to claim is he saw in jeff the immense talent i eluded
to and counted on jeff's health as a colleague, particularly, working on the economic issues facing the gaza strip as the economics officer at the united states embassy in tel-aviv when martin was an ambassador there, and at least one of his two stints. martin, after leading a brief discussion among the panelists will throw the proceedings over to all of you, and you can keep mobiles on as long as they're why silent mode, and, particularly, if you're prepared
to tweet the proceedings. hashtag "u.s. diplomacy," jeff, over to you. nope, sorry, "u.n. deploam sigh," but for some reason, right. i'm showing my own background, i guess. okay. >> thank you. [applause] friends and colleagues, let me begin by thanking talbot and thanking brookings, and i want to particularly thank martin and bruce for the invitation to speak about u.n. diplomacy in the crisis. i credit martin, in fact, for how my own career evolved. when i worked for martin as a gaza watcher from the u.s. embassy in tel-aviv, i had not planned to spend the rest of my state department career in the middle east and north africa,
but martin's passion and leadership inspired me to do just that. martin also had the good sense to encourage me to get to know bruce jones; then with the u.n. as mentioned, with the idea to explore how the u.s. and u.p. could work together to achieve israeli-palestinian peace, something we have to work on still, bruce. the role norway plays in peace for resolution of conflict in organizing u.n. mediation efforts, i'm particularly grateful for the ambassador's participation here today. it's a pleasure to be here, to see friends, and to see such interest in the united nations. it was exactly a year ago this month that i took up the position as the head of u.n. department of political affairs, and believe me, it's been an interesting 12 months, and it peoplesays it feels longer than
12 months, for those who don't know it, the department of affairs of u.n. nations works in peace makes, overseeing political missions, peace envoys abroad, and u.n. support for free elections worldwide. it monitors political developments around the globe, works hard to mobilize actions at the international level to present and resolve conflict. you know, one could say that the the department of political affairs or dpa, plays a similar role within the u.n. that the state department plays within the u.s. government in that we advise the secretary of general on peace and political issues and manage the u.n.'s political offices in the field, but as i think my remarks show that parallel only goes so far. today, i'm delighted to be back in washington, familiar terrain, and my vantage point has changed. to illustrate my new, u.n. perspective, i'll attempt to answer two questions. first, what are the main
differences in working on peace and security issues in the multilateral setting versus u.n. bilateral diplomacy and, second, what are key challenges the u.n. faces in doing this work? when answering the questions, i'll open up with a few general comments about the u.n.'s work, and then give a few very specific geographic examples to illustrate how we do that work, on the first question, the differences between multilateral and bilateral diplomacy. i'll be honest. i underestimated time and effort needed to adjust to what was a far greater change than anticipated moving from washington to new york. you know, as -- you know, as an english native speaker, for example, i assumed i'd have no difficulty in reading exrens in the united nations. [laughter] that could not have been further from the truth.
193 nations are far more creative than a single one in getting fully proficient in what's known unglish is enriching, even for those who grew up with the webster and oxford kicks theirs. seriously, until you leave the u.s. government, you cannot fully grasp what is means to walk into a room, backed by the tangible powers of the presidency, the pentagon, the dollar, the voting weight of the imf and world bank, permanent membership on u.n. security council, those sorts of things. these were assets, that almost without noticing, you know, i carry with me as u.s. ambassador to lebanon and midder eastern affairs. of course when you work for the u.s. government, one is vaguely aware of the power carried with you representing this country, and i think one of the best
educational experiences in the foreign service was watching real foreign patrol -- policy professionals use those assets as real leverage in the negotiations. if you spent the entire career with those assets as part of the package, as i did, it's something of a shock to suddenly be without them. you know, initially, i felt almost a sense of diplomatic nakedness. you know, you mean, i have to rely, really, on just my own persuasive skills? at the u.n., i also have learned from watching my new colleagues that u.n. officials also wield important sours of power as they try to coax antagonists towards peace, but the u.n. powers are quite different from what u.s. officials carry with them, learning how to use intangibles, ideals, principles, values, at
the top of my own u.n. education, placed on our own shoulders, for example, principles enshrined in the u.n. charter, and the legitimacy derived from membership, the principles and ideas that gave birth to the u.n., worth remembering, derived from u.s. leadership and vision in large part of the another of the u.n.'s strength one carries is the u.n.'s perceived impartiality, allowing us to talk to all sides and play the honest broker role that others an -- often cannot. it helps. in crisis, we deploy negotiators and missions that are diverse, come from all over the world, with regional and substantive expertise. this can help win quick respect of the parties involved. moreover, our goal is to resolve conflicts, period. we do not pick winners and losers. while our reports can be and often are criticized, the u.n.
has an ability to shape international perception of an issue that's different, say, than when the u.s. government talking about an issue in which the u.s. government massachusetts a vested interest in how that -- in how that problem is viewed. the u.n. leverage i describe, you might say is less -- certainly less tangible to the assets u.s. diplomats have, but the legitimacy the u.n. can convey to decisions on peace and security cannot be replicated by any single nation no matter how powerful. a further difference for me, of course, was trying to master after all the year working in the middle east and noter africa, it's global opposed to simply regional. you know, my geographic experience of the state department was of little use walking the african quarters for the first time, facing the
struggles in the african republic or mali, but remains the same, whether viewed from foggy bottom or turtle bay is the political nature of most conflicts, and thousands, the centrality of political solutions to conflicts. yes, the u.n. can use troops and often needs to to stabilize and provide security on the ground. something like a 110,000 u.n. peacekeepers working globally, and, yes, humans can help in manmade disasters, but lasting solutions to conflict require working the politics in tough places. the day i took office, we sat down in the first hull in that capacity, and he says my job was to help the u.n. do better on early warnings, prevent
diplomacy, and conflict mediation. secretary general made prevention whether talking about prevention of childhood disease or prevention of conflict, the centerpiece of hiss tenure at the u.n.. this early warning, preventing diplomacy, conflict mediation, what we are trying to do in varying degrees of success in numerous arenas today, working in evolving, complex environments with problems of state failure own internal conflicts are mag magnified by terrorism, the rise of organized crime, by military coos, by changing patterns of violence, and in doing this, we're trying to use established tools as effectively as possible and develops new approaches. it's worth remembers that the u.n. was established as a result of a world war between things, but more often than not today, conflicts arise from within
states, meaning our tools and our engagement needs to evolve as well. let me now focus on a few of these cases and highlight on what the u.n. brings to the table in doing politics in tough places. syria, somalia, the great lakes region of africa and afghanistan. i'll begin with syria. nothing has been more painful than to watch the syria crisis unfolding ever more tragically every day and sowing instability in the entire region. the syria crisis is an example of the challenges u.n. faces when sharp diversities of perspectives paralyze a security council. u.n. tools that some consider potentially useful like ab arms embargo, sanctions, reference of the syria file to the icc, simply are not available given the deadlocks. what do we do? first, one important aspect
without question is the u.n.'s work regarding mobilizing support for humanitarian relief and delivering assistance by those affected in syria. the humanitarian actors lead the efforts, but their political as. the u.n. league of arab states joint representatives drew on the u.n. for forces, cease fires, and various ways to deliver assistance across constantly changing front lines. second, working as best we can to limit damage to syria's neighbors of the spillover of the syria conflict, promoting host communities and government institutions, particularly in georgia and lebanon to mitigate what could be destabilizing
factors stemming from the inflow of hundreds of thousands of refugees. drawing on the fact while divided on syria, we sought the strenl and political sport for lebanon. third, the u.n.'s organized post conflict planning. efforts do not presume one sort or the other in terms of the political outcome, but they do assume that when the guns fall silent, the u.n. will be expected to be playing a role in rebuilding a shattered country. we have prepared a number of scenarios for u.n. action in syria to depend on circumstances and on what the syria people themselves ultimately ask of the u.n.. our primary political role in talking about syria, of course, is promoting a solution. we now blocked over, and only the u.n. can offer the broad
umbrellas of impartiality under which supporters can arrive in an international legitimized settlement in confidence their interests are protected. it's an uphill struggle from the outset. all of our bleakest predictions are coming true. whenever a slight opening appears for advancing a political solution, die dynamic, either on the ground or among international actors interview, and neither side has been ready to talk seriously. the government continued to depict what is a full blown civil war rooted in real grievances in the work of backed terrorists, and the opposition remained meyered in conflicts and fragmentation. still, we remain convinced there's no military solution, and the belief by some there is a military solution seems to lead to syria's destruction. we are ready to host a
conference as soon as possible as well as initiatives announced on may 7th, and i participated in two u.s., russia, u.n. trilateral meetings. in the end, there's a need for new policies in syria. urgently. with fights, lives lost, hay treads rise, and the united peaceful syria is a disant reality. if the key powers can help deliver the party's to the table, there's still a chance based on the geneva communicate from last year for negotiations in syria. let me turn now to somalia with the potential turning point. just two weeks ago, for the second time this year, and for the u.n., somalia represents a challenge of how in the face of
crisis demanding attention, the u.s. is sustain regional focus on a process that the promise of real success, the promise of real success, but still today needs to be nurtured. since 1990s, it's been perhaps convenient to look away from somalia, but clearly, one of the lessons of the past decade from kabul to mogadishu is failed and failing states pose a threat to the people and the region around them and world at large. the task of ending anarchy and building stable government in smoal ya took on great strategic as well as humanitarian significance. the u.n. invested hsm with partners like the african union and key governments like the united states to help turn the tide in that country. the u.n. helped mediate the 2008 agreement laying out a road map for transition that was
completed last year when somalia's elect the a new government. today, the country has, for the first time in decades, a leadership that's committed to building the state. the architectural failed state has before it now the best chance? a generation to build a stable government and bring a measure of peace and prosperity to its people, but diplomacy is just one side of the story. it was a major security intervention by the african union that fundamentally turned the tide. the united states helped get that au mission, amazon, off the ground and secure u.n. support for it. part of the task today is to make sure amazon continues to receive financial and political support for the security services are not yet ready or able to extend authority across the entire state. they need logistic support from
the international community. the very real security interest provided already have helped pry open space for political work. first time since the 1990s, the u.n. political missions operates in mogadishu, and we are helping to address the relationship between the federal government and mogadishu and the region including somalia land. our special representative in mogadishu is also helping to manage the evolving relationship between mogadishu and its neighbors whose support is essential to somalia's success. security is still a concern. a u.n. compound was attacked by terrorists just last month. we do not underestimate the obvious call -- obstacles ahead in smoal ya but are committed and determined to stay. others need to focus on smoal ya as well.
in the great lakes region of africa, we see how the u.n. addressed a long standing challenge of problems seemed almost immune to solution, which is instability in the eastern democratic republic of congo with a new expanded approach that offers a ray of hope. the u.n.'s peace keeping force in the democratic republic of the congo is the u.n.'s largest remaining an essential tool for the protection of the civilians and to promote stability, but recognizing the security tools alone were insufficient to solve the programs, and the secretary general at the beginning of the year concluded a political agreement among 11 countries, the four neighbors and african union dubbed the 11 plus four agreement. this frame work codified commitments from the drc, the other national cig any stories,
and other nations. the secretary general had u.p. high commissioner for human rights as the special envoy for the great lakes region to use the frame work to ends returning cycles of violence and sexual violence. other than working in the senior leadership level, senior envoy robertson is drawing grassroots civil society and women's organizations towards a comprehensive political approach. we also recognize and welcome the recent aappointment of the u.s. enscroi and u.s. commitment to work closely with robinson in support of the 11 plus four frame work agreement. to add incentives and underline link between security and development, the secretary general and the president of the world bank recently traveled to the region as well in what was the first joint mission of this
kind ever. moreover, the security council's authorized a new intervention. the u.n. peace keeping operation in the drc intended to establish a deterrent that should give breathing space for the renewed, political, and diplomatic efforts. in summary, we are bringing our convening power, our diplomatic peace keeping and other assets into play to encourage a comprehensive ri approach to the challenges in the great lakes. we cannot afford to let the opportunity fade away. regarding afghanistan, the u.n. is viewing engagement in the light of the significant changes to take place with the withdrawal of troops and the presidential election in 2014. my colleagues in the u.p.'s department of peace keeping operations have the lead in achings, but the dpa is heavily involvedded in the strategic thinking as well about what is the u.n.'s role going forward? among other challenges, afghanistan's a good example of how, even the united nations
with its universal membership, needs to be sensitive to concerns of nationalsoeverty. in march, they renewed the mandate of the u.n. assistance mission in afghanistan for additional year without any major changes. this signals a desire for continue newty in the mission's role like good offices on elections, reconciliation, and regional cooperation. many of our member states see a similar role for the u.n. beyond 2014; however, some of the actors in the current afghan government indicated skepticism regarding a continued political role for the u.n. arguing this role could interfere with afghan sovereignty. u.n. diplomacy requires finding compromise and consensus among different actors on different interests to allow the organizations to continue to assist afghans in the most effective way without being seen as compromising the nation's
security and sovereignty. a way to engage, of course, is act reasonably. the u.n.'s reasonable center in central asia based in another one of the overseas missions that reports to dpa, my department, is actively involved in the istanbul process working with the government of the region to identify common projects and approaches to build trust, and thereby prevent conflict and instability in the long term. ..
the gcc countries and bilateral partners such as the united states deserve our applause in promoting the power transition roadmap known as the gcc initiative finally signed by former yemeni president in november 2011 that i believe that the leverage in terms of real power politics by certain gcc countries and the u.s. was essential in persuading of the lasala to step aside. the signature was only one step in a long and complicated process, and national dialogue had to be organized with the secretary and committees established to drop the principles on which a constitution would be drafted. various understandings had to be brokered, less dialogue process
collapsed, powerful parties and individuals had to be persuaded to put their trust in these processes. although these complicated aspects of implementation of the gcc initiative have been overseen by the u.n. through the secretary-general's special envoy and backed strongly by the united states parties. considerable work remains before elections can be organized as scheduled in 2014, let us remember that yemen has one of the most heavily armed and severely tribalist societies in the world not to mention economic and social challenges. the fact the yemenis themselves remain by and large inside the political process speaks volumes about the effectiveness of multilateral diplomacy and partnerships. on iraq and kuwait, the security council passed a resolution on june 27 of praise the relationships between the two countries, that lifted some of the chapter 7 obligations on iraq regarding kuwait and that
was drafted with the full cooperation of both iraq and kuwait. moreover, those two countries have busier demarcating their border together. for those of us that remember in 1991, this is a remarkable turnaround. but this is an area which i believe you and diplomacy complemented and brokered by u.s. efforts in both kuwait and baghdad remain a real difference. if yemen and iraq and kuwait demonstrate the importance of complementary action of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy working in hand. when we combine our strengths lasting solutions can be found. ladies and gentlemen, as we deal with tough politics in all of these arenas and others that might come up in discussions afterwards a number of challenges emerge across-the-board. first going from early warning to early response. although we in the united
nations and topically washington still or occasionally are caught off guard our single biggest challenge is not really to improve early warning but to find ways to mobilize early action. rapid and unified diplomatic action as soon as opportunities open up, as soon as one identifies the problem on the horizon. this is particularly important when we need to prevent mass loss of life. successful early interventions obviously are far less conflict in terms of blood and treasure than conflicts in peacekeeping and reconstruction. but political space for early intervention is often extremely limited due to concerns over sovereignty, due to concerns over perceived interference in internal affairs. the u.n. cannot force itself upon parties to a conflict. it can only mediate when there is a willingness and consent. sovereignty issues and other questions that affect their
ability to broker peace and prevent atrocities are currently at the heart of a major internal process at the united nations, a process of learning from the lessons of failure to prevent atrocities in sri lanka. second, professionalizing the service. yes there is an art to diplomacy and there'll always be an art to diplomacy but today's complex peace processes even the most skilled diplomat need access to a broad range of technical expertise through relatively new instruments including a standby team of mediation experts who can be deployed anywhere around the world within 72 hours. we are adding more than a dose of science to the art. this kind of mobile assistance on issues such as power-sharing constitution making mediation process design is in such demand that we can barely keep up. and let me salute norway again as norwegian financial and intellectual and logistic support has made the standby team of mediation possible.
my third point relates to security which is subject quite familiar to u.s. diplomats as well. our work is becoming more and more dangerous. mogadishu was only the most recent reminder. when our mobility is restricted due to security our ability to move on or mandates is seriously compromised. in short week too face the dilemma of trying to do effective political outreach while hamdan behind walls, razor wire and sandbags. finally led me and where i started which is with leverage. equipped with neither offensive battalions nor billions of available dollars, what leverage does the u.n. really have? beyond that broad legitimacy i spoke of earlier. the real challenge is finding ways to build consensus and to get the international community to speak with one voice. when the community is united to
leverage the u.n. has is high. on yemen, we have a united council. on syria, we do not. it is hard to overstate the difference that makes. doing politics in tough places is not easy but it is my strong belief that we have no alternative but to maintain the momentum around diplomacy and ensure that we stay focused in every engagement on finding political solutions. and that we pool our efforts for peace for while bilateral and multilateral diplomacy may work differently, when they combined their clout the results can be powerful. we need the best of those of multilateral efforts and bilateral diplomacy to succeed in today's tough places. thank you very much. [applause]
see thank you very much, jeff. this is a very clear and fascinating tour of the horizon of your work and the leverage that you have and for us in washington it's rare that we get this kind of insight so we are very grateful to you. ambassador stroman you witness this and you played an important role in trying to develop diplomatic tools for the united nations and as jeff pointed out norway continues to play an important part so let's get your reaction. >> thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to come to brookings and to say a few words about norway's
attitudes in these things. i have been there almost six years and it's almost an embarrassment. i feel like i am part of the household here. you will get rid of me finally. this has been a kind of hope in washington and i'm really thankful for all the insights and wealthy doors if you have opened for me and for norway during my tenure. i should make a confessioconfessio n first. my only thinking on some of these issues goes back to two things. one i work for the u.n. back in the mid-90s, 93 to 95, terrible years and before any of these things were institutionalized. before i met bruce jones and we were then in something called the international conference for the former yugoslavia which is kind of an ad hoc thing established by the u.n. and the e.u. together, very sort of
clandestine nine. we would run around the world and try to do a little bit of the same that the epa does now. the other thing was that when i was in new york when norway was on the security council in 2001 and 2002 when i met bruce and we quickly figured out that the u.n. was slightly, those were activist years and the cold war, the wall had come down 10 years before and we had a huge belief in the diplomatic capacity of the u.n. and in a way that feeling was that hey the u.n. is kind of in the norwegian physician. we never had the -- of the dollar or the presidency. so welcome to our world. any room i walk into nobody will associate me with other institutions. so in a way the u.n. was a
natural expansion of our way of thinking. you come to realize then that even if you try to do some good in the world by getting active and solving violent conflicts, or at least make an effort for peace and reconciliation, you really need to draw on a different pool of people, of backgrounds than only those that grew up at the north pole. and the u.n. was the perfect place to take that. but it needed, it really needed to be institutionalized. it really needed to be institutionalized and that is how i spoke a lot in those days to bruce about it and the epa started to take form and shape. now i am not going to say that intellectual leadership is overrated, but sometimes you think, you end up thinking that because i thought it was obvious
that there were many setbacks but there was nothing within the u.n. that can replace something like the epa. but it needs resources and this is my main point. it really needs resources. resources. i'm sorry the norwegians always come in and talk about money. i am sorry that the norwegians always come in and talk about money. but no matter how shiny your intellectual exercises or how you should do this or do that all of that is fine but it gets complicated if you are constantly talking about other people's money. to get as many as possible to show that you believe in the u.n. but show support coming up with the resources, not necessarily only money, with the personnel and the support systems in the structures, you
will like jeff has told that, you will see their art comparatives to the u.n. system. the u.n. will play a number in politics in tough places. it will play a number of roles, anything from skate to what we know to keeper of the holy grail. any role you can think of. if you don't have anyone else to prepare you for the u.n.. sometimes it's the right thing to do. so we will continue to support it. we think that your efforts around the world and in the places that you have mentioned are laudable. we know it's tough. we know it's hard. we would like more states to come up with commitments on the resources but all i can promise you is that we will keep our part. >> thank you. when you talk about resources,
we are not talking about peacekeeping resources. that's a different account. so what are their resources that are necessary for jeff's work? >> i am fascinated with what jeff said. in a matter of few days you are able to draw on experts from around the world. as i said diversification is very important and one thing i really learned in yugoslavia and i have, i headed loss -- who i had never had a boss before and probably never had a boss before that was lutheran. [laughter] which was kind of a new experience for me and for him. but you actually understand after a little while the ability to draw on a pool that only in the way the u.n. can build on that you have got to have systems in place. you've got to have these people like everybody needs salaries and they need travel. one of the frustrations in the mid-90s when i worked for the
u.n. was before you could start talking to the warmongers were so heavy and so difficult that when you got there you you were almost exhausted and to get these things you would have been much better at. that was part of my resourcing, not only that you come up with the money. >> do you want to respond on that point? >> to put things in perspective the scale we are talking about come, all the tools we have the rapid response mediation team and constitution experts is voluntary contributions. this does not matter the regular budget so we are not being appropriated by member states dues or any things for these activities such as the rapid deployment that i described. we are talking a total voluntary contribution budget per year of roughly between 16 and $20 million whereas if you look at minusko that peacekeeping operation in the drc that i mentioned that is from the
regular budget peacekeeping assessment and that is over a billion dollars a year. >> and in somalia? >> and somalia are political missions overseas are funded out of the regular budget. >> bruce, one of the points that just made very strongly and is so obvious in the case of syria is when the permanent members and the security council united in action but dpa becomes much easier and much more effective when they are divided the opposite is the case. what is your reflection on that kind of conundrum? >> for me it goes to a central issue that i take from jeff's talk about the relationship between power and principle and it seems to me the core strength of the u.n. as an organization has both ended plans concept of principled with realities of power.
you have the p5 and they are able to flow their power through that institution when they choose to do so and yet you also have the membership in the charter and the principles that jeff talked about. i think what's interesting looking at the u.n. is how differently those two things are raised to planning on the conflict we are involved in. and an oversimplistic way of thinking about that is sort of the degree of great power interests in the conference in this second sphere, third tier conference. when you're in a small civil war in central africa where the great powers have no fundamental stakes it seems to me that kind of diplomacy jeff is talking about, you persuasion ,-com,-com ma a reference to principle, the ability to manage networks those are the tools have become much more important than people realize. there is a long debate about how much states matter versus institutions and it changes the context. but there are parts of the world where jeff and his colleagues really are the main source of
diplomatic action in a given context and drawing on the delete networks in the region and drawing on the tools that they charter and their own choice of skills etc. really make a critical difference in the conference. syria is the opposite end of the spectrum. no matter what the skill, the very best that can do would be to facilitate some form of p5 and it doesn't matter how skillful jeff feltman is. nothing is going to change in the syrian conflict of long as their divisions amongst the p5. think the most interesting places or places you talk about like somalia where they're great powers have skin in the game. the united states has forces in somalia. there are real stakes for the indian ocean. a trillion dollars in shipping flows through there but they are not fundamentfundament al stakes
so that the united states is the hating on the de la basis. there you have a lot of room for maneuver by the middle powers in the regions involved the turks and the brits etc.. there seems to me get that this interesting blend of sufficient power and leverage to move the pieces around the chessboard but requiring diplomatic talents of jeff and his colleagues to orchestrate those pieces and corel people into a common direction. you will find it very frequently when you have a number of players in any given gain their interest may overlap that it actually takes the scale of u.n. diplomats to pull people into a kind of common position and sort of push the pieces of the chessboard in the same direction. that is where the u.n. make such a fundamental difference is in the the second-tier complex where he has a really important role of a reigning the resources of middle powers and modest engagements of great powers in shifting outcomes than that for me is where the real test lies. it's worth saying and a credit
to jeff that one of the things that jeff has already accomplished at the u.n. is building much stronger ties to turkey libya brazil and some of the emerging powers were players in the game and a way that is in even the united states has not fully recognized how much those actors are diplomatic players and a lot of these games and just the sort of ahead of the curve on that issue. >> you want to respond to that in terms of the difficulty of concert in so many different players with their different interests? >> well, let me respond to that last point because it also gets at the point of trying to find, broadening the funding base for these types of early warning conflict mediation efforts. norway has been extremely generous in helping us set up these mechanisms. they are one of our primary funders for the voluntary contribution pool but if you look at the traditional donors
if switzerland, the netherlands germany and the u.k.. there is a certain pattern there and that pattern is useful because it's somewhat predictable for us. we know norway will continue to support us. >> but it's all western european. so if there is a conflict emerging somewhere, there may be a perception that we have a certain western european agenda in trying to do our diplomacy so i've been trying to expand our asic we are dpa group and we have managed to get now funding from japan, from turkey, from india, from morocco and in some cases they are relatively modest sums but it starts to change the perception of what dpa is, that we are not simply a western european beachhead in the u.n. that happens to be headed by an american that we do represent the membership base of the organization.
>> jeff, one of the things that struck me about what you said is the difference between the u.s. diplomats and the u.n. diplomat is the issue of legitimacy, something that washington doesn't always take very seriously and there are some extreme cases which we just discussed lately. it seems that the u.n. has all the legitimacy in the world and the united states often doesn't. and so i wonder if you could just address that issue, what the role of the u.n. can play in terms of legitimizing interventions and how important that is. >> of course i have worked in both places as i said and there is a pride in the u.n. but i
certainly have not fully grasp about the type of legitimacy that a universally based organization can offer. when i worked in washington i don't think i have a full appreciation for how much that means inside the u.n. and how much it means to many member states. certainly there will remain places where the u.s. is going to act on u.s. calculations of its own interest that very many places in the world where we are able to play an effective role because there is a legitimacy conveyed by the consensus the u.n. has by the universal membership, sort of the second-tier conflict areas that bruce said and there are some p5 members as you know who are extremely focused on legitimacy in a way of trying to define what is the scope for international action. it's a different aspect of the legitimacy question when you
have a p5 member looking very strictly at what legitimacy means in terms of any type of international action but it's also important to keep that in mind. those are the two aspects. >> can i say one thing about legitimacy? we all know and i meyer v. -- in the mid-90s and i think he was the -- in the system and he was present in san francisco when the charter was written as a young british diplomat but he told me once that because i was speaking to him and we and the u.n. were accused of the u.n. has lost all of its confidence which is something you will hear every day. i remember he said you know we heard that in 1945.
it's been that way ever since and it's going to be that way forever but the truth is actually it exists. it does exist, you know and if you don't feel it in washington you will when you get to the field. you will. >> lets talk about syria for a minute. because they are not only is the u.n. really challengechallenged in terms of its ability to operate at the legitimacy of the u.n. institution is being questioned. as a result of it and let me start with you wegger. what do you think can be done about the situation? >> i think i agree with what jeff was saying and strobe was alluding to a problem from in the beginning. you know, you know it's such --
first of all the shear numbers and the horrors of the shear numbers that you feel in a way overwhelmed by 100,000 people are so being killed. it's almost hard not only, and i will make a proper analysis but for us when i was at the u.n. we worked so much with central africa. the figures were even higher and in bosnia by the end of the day 100,000 people so the u.n. ends up with these absolutely sort of horrible, horrible situations. what can be done? you know, to be honest i really don't know. what i know in a way regional containment where you get absolutely some credit to what jeff and the u.n. is doing. not a lot of that comes out in the media because you tend to
focus of course on the pores of the conflicts as such. it's obvious from what i'm saying that i'm not offering anything, it any brilliant insight to what you can do about the court conflict at the moment i think there is a reasonable things have been done in a regional context for it not to get seriously worse including the refugees and stabilizing neighboring countries which i think you know is holding fairly well given the pressure that they are under. i think the national support for them is at least not disastrous but may be reasonable at the moment. that is probably the maximum we can do at the moment. ..
>> doesn't mean the situation will terms in real terms op the ground, and it doesn't mean this is what defines the security consulate in other places. while deadlockedded on syria, the council's unified in effectiveness, and it is worth remembers this is one of several places that the council ice working, and it's always the case that deadlock attracts more than attention than uni