Saturday, October 11, 2008

Senator McCain Requested Regulatory Reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2006

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During the 1980s, Senator McCain became embroiled in the Keating Five Scandal and was investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee. Senator McCain was cleared of impropriety but criticized for poor judgement.

Wikipedia notes:

The Ethics Committee ruled that the involvement of McCain in the scheme was...minimal, and he...was cleared of all charges against him.[55][54] McCain was criticized by the Committee for exercising "poor judgment" when he met with the federal regulators on Keating's behalf.[7] The report also said that McCain's "actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him....Senator McCain has violated no law of the United States or specific Rule of the United States Senate."[58] On his Keating Five experience, McCain has said: "The appearance of it was wrong. It's a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do."[7]

...McCain would write in 2002 that attending the two April 1987 meetings was "the worst mistake of my life".[59]

It seems that Senator McCain has learned that financial institutions need regulation from his embarrassing experience as a member of the Keating Five. He sent a letter to Senators Frist and Shelby on May 5, 2006, demanding that the Senate reform the regulatory laws on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so that taxpayers would not be exposed to enormous risks.

Human Events (10-10-08) reports that Senator McCain and 19 Republican Senators stated:

[It is] vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]...operate in a safe and sound manner.[and]..More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event that either...should fail."

No Democratic Senators signed the letter.

Of course, the subprime mortgage crisis is very complicated. I think a lot of factors contributed to this financial crisis.


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