Obama: More Regulation! McCain: OK, Maybe

The implosion of the global financial system is not easily explained in stump speeches, which explains the initial responses from Obama and McCain predictably blaming Washington. Luckily, the New York Times more closely examines the positions of the two candidates.

The Times finds that Obama has called for “regulating investment banks, mortgage brokers and hedge funds much as commercial banks,” while streamlining “the overlapping regulatory agencies and create a commission to monitor threats to the financial system and report to the White House and Congress.”

Meanwhile, John McCain has an evolving view of regulation. This morning he requested major reform of “the outdated and ineffective patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight in Washington.” McCain, in the past, has derided increasing regulation.

NYT: In early 1995, after Republicans had taken control of Congress Mr. McCain promoted a moratorium on federal regulations of all kinds. He was quoted as saying that excessive regulations were “destroying the American family, the American dream” and voters “want these regulations stopped.” The moratorium measure was unsuccessful.

“I’m always for less regulation,” he told The Wall Street Journal last March, “but I am aware of the view that there is a need for government oversight” in situations like the subprime lending crisis, the problem that has cascaded through Wall Street this year. He concluded, “but I am fundamentally a deregulator.”

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