MotherJones Blog reports that John McCain says he is outraged by Wall Street’s failure, which led to Lehman Brothers’ filing for bankruptcy, among other things. And he should be. Problem is, he neglected to note his party’s responsibility in the dire economic situation facing the nation’s banks and their now-vulnerable customers:
As the news broke of the Lehman Brothers meltdown and the rest of the latest financial crisis, John McCain, speaking at a campaign rally in Florida on Monday, angrily declared,
We will never put America in this position again. We will clean up Wall Street. This is a failure.
And in a statement released by his campaign, McCain called for greater “transparency and accountability” on Wall Street.
If McCain wants to hold someone accountable for the failure in transparency and accountability that led to the current calamity, he should turn to his good friend and adviser, Phil Gramm.
As Mother Jones reported in June, eight years ago, Gramm, then a Republican senator chairing the Senate banking committee, slipped a 262-page bill into a gargantuan, must-pass spending measure. Gramm’s legislation, written with the help of financial industry lobbyists, essentially removed newfangled financial products called swaps from any regulation. Credit default swaps are basically insurance policies that cover the losses on investments, and they have been at the heart of the subprime meltdown because they have enabled large financial institutions to turn risky loans into risky securities that could be packaged and sold to other institutions.
As Barack Obama noted Monday, re: the US economy, the GOP would have us believe that their policies help wealth to trickle down. Instead, we’re seeing “pain trickle up.” It’s nice to see that McSame can point out an outrage (or at least this one) when he sees it — though he repeated Monday that he still believes the economy to be “fundamentally sound” — but do you trust him to fix it?