iOS app Android app

Ted Kaufman
Ted Kaufman is the former Chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

He was formerly the United States Senator from Delaware.

Ted arrived in the Senate with significant experience, having served as Chief of Staff to Sen. Biden from 1976 to 1995. He used that experience to his advantage. Less than a month after arriving in the Senate, he introduced the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act with Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). The bipartisan legislation, signed into law by President Obama on May 20, 2009, strengthens the tools and increases the resources available to federal prosecutors to combat financial fraud.

Ted remained a leading voice in the financial debate, successfully pushing the Securities and Exchange Commission to strengthen its short selling rules and advance market structure reforms in such areas as high frequency trading. He was extremely active in trying to solve the problem of financial institutions deemed "too-big-to-fail," calling for a re-imposition of the Glass-Steagall Act, which would separate commercial and investment banking activities.

Along with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ted in April introduced the SAFE Banking Act of 2010, which would cap the size of banks based on their assets and liabilities. His provisions on health care fraud enforcement, which expanded the government's capacity to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in government and private health care, were included in the historic health care bill.

Initially appointed to two committees - the Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee - Ted was assigned to two more panels in March, 2010: the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and became the first Delaware Senator to serve on the Armed Services Committee. He was also assigned to the Impeachment Committees of federal judges Samuel B. Kent and G. Thomas Porteous Jr.

Ted was one of the leading Senate voices supporting international press freedom, public diplomacy and an expanded civilian role in counterinsurgency operations. He co-authored the only piece of legislation on Iran signed into law last year: the Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act, which supported increased U.S. broadcasting in Iran, as well as the development of Internet censorship circumvention tools.

Ted made three trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan and four trips to Iraq while in office, as well as two visits to Israel and the West Bank, and trips to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, Turkey and Syria. During those trips, he met with U.S. troops and military leaders, as well as regional officials, including Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, Pakistan President Zardari, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Lebanon Prime Minister Hariri, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, and Syrian President Assad.

As the Senate's only member to have worked as an engineer, Ted was especially active in promoting the expansion of "STEM" - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - education. He was able to secure $400,000 to fund research and extension grants for women and minorities in STEM fields in a spending bill signed into law on October 16, 2009. In April 2010, Ted received the American Society of Mechanical Engineering's prestigious President's Award, presented to companies and individuals who have made significant contributions to the engineering profession. On December 21, 2010 the America COMPETES Act was signed into law which includes Ted’s STEM Education Coordination Act which provides overall coordination of federal programs and activities in support of STEM education.

A former federal employee, Ted went to the floor each week to honor a wide variety of federal employees, from a lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission to a technician in the National Guard. During his term he made floor statements on the accomplishments of 100 federal workers.

Ted was born on March 15, 1939, in Philadelphia, PA, to Helen Carroll and Manuel Kaufman. He graduated from Duke University with a BS in mechanical engineering. He later earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1966, Ted moved to Delaware to work for the DuPont Company, and in 1972, joined Joe Biden's long-shot U.S. Senate campaign on a volunteer basis. He began working full-time for Biden in 1973, and three years later, became Biden's chief of staff - a job he held for 19 years.

Since 1991, Ted has taught a number of courses at the Duke University’s School of Law, Sanford School of Public Policy and Fuqua School of Business.

From 1995 until 2008, Ted was a Board member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the independent, autonomous, federal entity responsible for all U.S. government and government-sponsored non-military international broadcasting. He was appointed to the BBG by the Presidents Clinton and Bush and was confirmed by the Senate for four terms.

He lives with Lynne, his wife of over 50 years, in Wilmington, DE. They have three children, Kelly Lance, Murry Pierce, and Meg Hartley, and seven grandchildren.


Entries by Ted Kaufman

Five Years Later, Flash Crash Still Shrouded in Mystery

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 3:51 PM


Wednesday, May 6 marks the fifth anniversary of the historic stock market crash innocuously referred to as the "Flash Crash," where the stock market lost close to $1 trillion in just minutes before bouncing back up about $1 trillion. During these 36 dizzying...

Read Post

Putin's Folly

(9) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 3:52 PM

I've read quite a few pundits in the past few weeks who seem to think Vladimir Putin is playing a masterful game of chess in the Ukraine. One of them recently wailed, "He's always a step ahead of us!"

Really? I had a conversation years ago with...

Read Post

Time to Ratify the Global Disabilities Convention

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 9:03 AM

Back in the good old days, when there was bipartisan support for such things as mom and apple pie, President George H.W. Bush signed the landmark 1990 Americans for Disability Act (ADA). I can remember how proud we were that the United States had passed a comprehensive civil rights law...

Read Post

Happy Birthday to Dodd-Frank, a Law That Isn't Working

(146) Comments | Posted July 21, 2013 | 12:44 PM

Today marks the third anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Sadly, except for a recent promising development that might increase capital requirements for megabanks, the act has not delivered on its promise to fix the problems that caused the financial meltdown of 2008-09.

Failure was built into Dodd-Frank...

Read Post

Obama's Big Bank Opportunity

(84) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 3:50 PM

The Obama administration has a big opportunity to get on the right side of history and finally do something about the size, complexity and riskiness of our very largest banks. It can support the bill which will shortly be introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and David Vitter (R-LA). While...

Read Post

The Cruz Missile Gift to Democrats

(1710) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 7:15 AM

The people of Texas have sent their very own Cruz missile to the Senate, set to destroy any remaining vestiges of moderate Republicanism and just about certain to alienate Republican-leaning independents everywhere.

What a gift to my side! Except, although I am a lifelong Democrat, I am...

Read Post

Two Responsibilities -- Vote and Unite

(31) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 9:23 AM

I have voted in 14 presidential elections since my first, in 1960. Each time the candidates or their surrogates have told me "this is the most important election of your lifetime."

Well, this week we will finally have the election that actually fits that description. There has never been an...

Read Post

Federal Employees Need Attention

(23) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 4:05 PM

A lot of important issues have been neglected -- or avoided -- by both sides during this presidential campaign. Two recent news articles reminded me of one of them.

The first article relayed the good news that American David Wineland won the Nobel Prize for Physics. Wineland is a federal...

Read Post

SEC Makes Some Good Moves

(4) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 10:28 AM

If you followed my speeches when I was in the U.S. Senate and my writing since then, you know I have been frustrated by how little the Securities Exchange Commission has done to keep up with changes in our financial markets. You also know how concerned I am about the...

Read Post

Stock Market Computer Glitch Plenty to Worry About

(14) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 10:18 PM

Last week Knight Capital Markets, a brokerage firm that was responsible for over 10 percent of all trading in U.S. company stock, suffered a raft of computer glitches that executed millions of non-existent orders in less than 30 minutes. Knight lost $440 million and its stockholders took a...

Read Post

Facebook Fiasco Damages U.S. Markets

(3) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 11:55 AM

The Facebook initial public offering fiasco is just the latest in a string of events that have seriously damaged the credibility of U.S. equity markets.

The exodus of retail customers from our stock markets is the most obvious and dangerous indication of this loss of credibility. Too...

Read Post

Big Bank Time Bomb Ticking

(57) Comments | Posted May 20, 2012 | 8:06 PM

Haven't we had this discussion before?

And maybe I said "I told you so" then? Forgive me. But we still haven't gotten to the point where we actually do something about federally insured big banks gambling with derivatives.

Investopedia defines a derivative:

Read Post

Senator Lugar Will Be Missed

(13) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 11:02 AM

I have spent the last 40 years of my life working in and teaching about the United States Senate. Right after then-Senator Biden and I came to Washington, he told me something I have always kept in mind when dealing with its members. "There is a reason the citizens of...

Read Post

Corporate Tax Rate and a Busy Lame Duck Session

(35) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 7:58 AM

Since Japan lowered its rate last April, our corporate tax rate has been the highest in the world. There is no disagreement in Washington, believe it or not, that a 35% rate is too high.

What complicates things is that very few if any corporations actually pay...

Read Post

U.S. Needs Shareholders' Rights

(29) Comments | Posted April 30, 2012 | 12:13 PM

Many of us thought that if a fair vote by shareholders on executive pay were ever allowed, a number of CEO pay proposals would be voted down. Last year, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act made such votes mandatory for publicly traded corporations.

Recently, Citigroup shareholders

Read Post

New Gangs in Politics

(33) Comments | Posted April 26, 2012 | 9:24 AM

There are some new gangs in our political neighborhoods called "super PACS" and they distorted the outcome in a number of states during the Republican presidential nomination campaign.

First, let's briefly review how these new super PACS came into being. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens...

Read Post

Ominous Rumblings on Stock Exchanges

(13) Comments | Posted April 16, 2012 | 9:44 AM

Just because a volcano is dormant doesn't mean it won't erupt again. Sit on top of it, and even minor tremors are a disturbing reminder that the potential for disaster is very real.

That's how I felt when I read about the recent computer glitch that...

Read Post

Government Workers Are Unfairly Assailed

(363) Comments | Posted April 10, 2012 | 9:54 AM

We've heard a lot in the past couple of years, pro and con, about escalating CEO compensation, but it seems to me at least one argument in their defense has merit. It is important to pay enough to recruit and retain the best talent available in the highly competitive global...

Read Post

Romney Seeks an America More Like China

(126) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 4:24 PM

I've heard some surprising things from candidates during this primary season, but Mitt Romney's answer last Friday to a question about government regulation was in a league of its own. Here's what he said:

I got the chance after I lost to John McCain last time, to go...
Read Post

Too Big to Fail and the Volcker Rule

(50) Comments | Posted March 5, 2012 | 8:21 AM

When I was in the Senate back in 2009-2010 there were disagreements about virtually every element of Wall Street reform. But everyone, Republican or Democrat, agreed that the American taxpayer should never again have to bail out a bank because it was "too big to fail"-- so large and so...

Read Post