Who’s Behind John McCains Economic Policy?

From: ProgressiveAccountability.org

McCain’s Approach To Housing Crisis Shaped By Adviser Gramm

American Banker: Bankers Looking To Gramm For Clues On McCain’s Policy. American Banker reported, “The financial services platform of Republican presidential candidate John McCain is largely a mystery, but bankers are looking to a familiar face in his entourage for some hints: former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm. As the Arizona senator trumpets other issues on the campaign trail, such as Iraq and government spending, his financial policies have been left to an extensive team of economists that includes Mr. Gramm, who also co-chairs his campaign. The Texas Republican’s involvement in the campaign – and potential choice as Treasury secretary – is seen as a critical clue as to how Sen. McCain would handle the housing crisis … Wayne Abernathy, a former aide to Mr. Gramm on the Banking Committee and now the American Bankers Association’s executive director of regulatory affairs, said the two senators’ philosophical alignment, as well as Sen. McCain’s policies while chairing the Commerce Committee, reflect a preference for market rather than government solutions.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

  • American Banker: Gramm’s Role In McCain Campaign “Should Give Comfort To Bankers.” American Banker reported, “Mr. Gramm, a principal author of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the walls between banking, insurance, and securities, left Congress in late 2002 to become vice chairman of UBS Warburg. … Observers say that Mr. Gramm’s connection with the campaign should give comfort to bankers unsure of how Sen. McCain would view financial services issues.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

McCain Donations From The Mortgage Industry

McCain Has Taken Over $2.1 Million From The Banking And Mortgage Industry. McCain has taken $2,120,794 in campaign contributions from the banking and mortgage lending industry, according to a Campaign Money Watch analysis of data obtained from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. This total reflects donations of $200 and above from individuals and PACs received by his campaign committees and leadership PAC through May 31, 2008. [Center for Responsive Politics via Campaign Money Watch]

  • McCain Has Taken $1.57 Million From The Banking And Mortgage Industry In 2008 Election Cycle Alone. McCain has taken $1.57 million in campaign contributions from the banking and mortgage lending industry in the 2008 election cycle alone, nearly three times what he received from 1989 to 2006, according to a Campaign Money Watch analysis of data obtained from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. [Center for Responsive Politics via Campaign Money Watch]

At Least 21 Top McCain Advisers & Fundraisers Have Lobbied For Sub-Prime Lenders And Companies Invested In Sub-Prime Mortgages

Name of Lobbyist
Campaign Role
Sub-Prime Clients
Source
Rebecca Anderson
Fundraiser
Wells Fargo
Women for McCain Steering Committee
Wayne Berman
National Finance Co-Chairman
AmeriquestCredit Suisse Securities
JohnMcCain.com
Charlie Black
Senior Political Adviser
Chase Home Finance [an arm of J.P. Morgan Chase]Washington Mutual
New York Times
Judy Black
Fundraiser
Chase Home Finance [an arm of J.P. Morgan Chase]First Franklin [acquired by Merrill Lynch in 2006]
Merrill Lynch
Women for McCain Steering Committee
Christine Burgeson
Women for McCain Steering Committee
CitiFinancial [an arm of CitiGroup]
Women for McCain Steering Committee
Kirsten Chadwick
Fundraiser
Merrill Lynch
Women for McCain Steering Committee
David Crane
Senior Policy Adviser
Bank of America
Media Matters
Dan Crippen
Senior Policy Adviser
Merrill Lynch
JohnMcCain.com
Doug Davenport
Fundraiser & Former Regional Campaign Manager
Goldman Sachs
Public Citizen
ABC News
Juleanna Glover Weiss
Fundraiser
Chase Home Finance [an arm of J.P. Morgan Chase]
Women for McCain Steering Committee
John Green
Congressional Liaison
AmeriquestCitiFinancial [an arm of CitiGroup]
Credit Suisse Securities
Politico
Janet Grissom
Women for McCain Steering Committee
First Franklin [acquired by Merrill Lynch in 2006]Merrill Lynch
Women for McCain Steering Committee
Vicki Hart
Women for McCain Steering Committee
CitiFinancial [an arm of CitiGroup]Lehman Brothers
Merrill Lynch
Women for McCain Steering Committee
Richart Hohlt
Fundraiser
Chase Home Finance [an arm of J.P. Morgan Chase]Washington Mutual
Public Citizen
James Hyland
Fundraiser; Virginia Steering Committee
CitiFinancial [an arm of CitiGroup]Merrill Lynch
JohnMcCain.com
JohnMcCain.com
Thomas Loeffler
Fundraiser & Former National Co-Chairman
CitiFinancial [an arm of CitiGroup]
JohnMcCain.com
Peter Madigan
Fundraiser
First Franklin [acquired by Merrill Lynch in 2006]Goldman Sachs
Merrill Lynch
Public Citizen
Paul Martino
Fundraiser
Morgan Stanley
McCain Fundraiser
Steve Phillips
Fundraiser
First Franklin [acquired by Merrill Lynch in 2006]Merrill Lynch
McCain Fundraiser
Elise Pickering
Women for McCain Steering Committee
Credit Suisse
Women for McCain Steering Committee
Jeffrey Weiss
Fundraiser
Chase Home Finance [an arm of J.P. Morgan Chase]
McCain Fundraiser

McCain’s Approach To Housing Crisis Shaped By Adviser Gramm

American Banker: Bankers Looking To Gramm For Clues On McCain’s Policy. American Banker reported, “The financial services platform of Republican presidential candidate John McCain is largely a mystery, but bankers are looking to a familiar face in his entourage for some hints: former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm. As the Arizona senator trumpets other issues on the campaign trail, such as Iraq and government spending, his financial policies have been left to an extensive team of economists that includes Mr. Gramm, who also co-chairs his campaign. The Texas Republican’s involvement in the campaign – and potential choice as Treasury secretary – is seen as a critical clue as to how Sen. McCain would handle the housing crisis … Wayne Abernathy, a former aide to Mr. Gramm on the Banking Committee and now the American Bankers Association’s executive director of regulatory affairs, said the two senators’ philosophical alignment, as well as Sen. McCain’s policies while chairing the Commerce Committee, reflect a preference for market rather than government solutions.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

  • American Banker: Gramm’s Role In McCain Campaign “Should Give Comfort To Bankers.” American Banker reported, “Mr. Gramm, a principal author of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the walls between banking, insurance, and securities, left Congress in late 2002 to become vice chairman of UBS Warburg. … Observers say that Mr. Gramm’s connection with the campaign should give comfort to bankers unsure of how Sen. McCain would view financial services issues.” [American Banker, 3/11/08, emphasis added]

March 25: McCain Rejects Assistance For Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

In Speech John McCain Rejected Assistance For Housing Crisis. During a speech on economic issues, John McCain said:

  • “I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]
  • “Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren’t.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08, emphasis added]

McCain Said Homeowners Should Rely Lenders For Solutions. John McCain said, “We should also convene a meeting of the nation’s top mortgage lenders. Working together, they should pledge to provide maximum support and help to their cash-strapped, but credit worthy customers. They should pledge to do everything possible to keep families in their homes and businesses growing.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08]

McCain Promised To Not “Play Election Year Politics” McCain declared that he would not change his position, boldly declaring:”I will not play election year politics with the housing crisis.” [McCain Housing Speech, 3/25/08]

March 25: McCain Gives Bear Stearns Bailout Stamp Of Approval

March 25: McCain Repeats Rhetoric On Wall Street Bailouts, But Says Bear Stearns Bailout OK. The Seattle Times reported that McCain criticized government bailouts, but “said the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Bear Stearns met his criteria.” [Seattle Times, 3/26/08]

  • New York Times: McCain Shows Double Standard On Bailout. The New York Times editorialized, “And then there is the double standard. He [McCain] seemed less concerned about the government helping reckless bankers, endorsing its role in preventing the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns.” While he supported a government bailout of Bear Stearns, McCain warned against helping “undeserving” homeowners. [New York Times, 3/27/08]

March 26- 27: Media Criticized McCain’s Housing Speech

New York Times McCain Rejects Broad U.S. Aid On Mortgages. The New York Times reported, “Senator John McCain of Arizona warned Tuesday against vigorous government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis and the market turmoil it has caused, saying that ‘it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.’” [New York Times, 3/26/08]

  • McCain Blamed Homeowners. According to the New York Times, “Mr. McCain suggested that some homeowners had also engaged in dangerous practices, including borrowing too much in hopes that a rising market would cover their mortgages. [New York Times, 3/26/08]
  • McCain’s Plan Offered Less Assistance Than Bush’s. The New York Times reported, “Overall, the approach Mr. McCain suggested is even more cautious about federal intervention than that of President Bush. The Bush administration is looking to lower down payment requirements, at least temporarily. Mr. McCain said that he opposed reducing the down payment required for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, a step mean to revitalize slumping house sales.” [New York Times, 3/26/08]

McCain Rejected “Activist Approaches” To Mortgage Crisis, Placed Blame On Homeowners. The Los Angeles Times reported, “John McCain said Tuesday that he understood Americans’ anger about the mortgage foreclosure crisis and was open to ideas for addressing the problem, but he rejected the sort of activist approaches proposed by his Democratic rivals for the presidency. … McCain – who has been trying to shore up his economic credentials – placed some of the blame on homeowners themselves, while also scolding ‘complacent’ lenders.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/26/08, emphasis added]

Boston Globe Describes McCain Plan as “Tough Love” For Struggling Families. The Boston Globe reported, “John McCain offered some small-government tough love yesterday in his first major speech on the economy after returning from a tour abroad.” [Boston Globe, 3/26/08]

McCain Said Mortgage Lenders, Not Government, Should Help Homeowners. The Sacramento Bee reported, “Sen. John McCain, R. Ariz., on Tuesday called for mortgage lenders to help struggling homeowners stay in their homes but said government’s role should be temporary and limited. ‘It is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether it’s big banks or small b orrowers,’ McCain said in a speech in Santa Ana.” [Sacramento Bee, 3/26/08]

McCain Opposes Plan For Mortgage Guarantees. The Seattle Times reported, “McCain advisers said the candidate frowns on legislation… that would have the government provide up to $400 billion in guarantees for mortgages that lenders agree to modify. ” [Seattle Times, 3/26/08]

New York Times Editorial: McCain Proposes “The Last Thing The Nation Needs.” The New York Times editorialized, “With foreclosures surging, the last thing the nation needs is another government-hosted meeting where mortgage lenders pledge once again to do their utmost to help distressed borrowers stay in their homes – and then go back to the business of foreclosure. Yet, a meeting and a round of pledges is exactly what Senator John McCain called for on Tuesday, as if the country had not been down that fruitless road already. The real core of his speech was his argument against government action to help dig distressed homeowners – or the country – out of the mortgage mess. Mr. McCain’s talk therapy will not ease, let alone end, the worst foreclosure crisis since the Depression or the financial crisis that has erupted in its wake. But worse yet is what it says about the presumptive Republican nominee’s view of the economy and the government’s responsibility to protect and help its citizens.” [New York Times, 3/27/08]

McCain: Open To Assistance But Little Patience For The “Irresponsible.” The Washington Post reported, “McCain said he remained open to a wide range of solutions to the present financial turmoil, including government assistance, while making clear that his patience for a bailout would be very short. ‘Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren’t,’ he said.” [Washington Post, 3/26/08, emphasis added]

McCain Forced to Backtrack On Housing Plan Offer New Position

McCain Said He Was Committed To Using The “All The Resources” Of Federal Government For Assistance. On April 10th, John McCain said, “But let me make it clear that in these challenging times, I am committed to using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream.” [McCain Housing Speech, 4/10/08]

Wall Street Journal: McCain Rejects Prior Approach And Calls For “Aggressive Federal Government Role.” The Wall Street Journal reported, “John McCain called for an aggressive federal government role aimed at stabilizing the housing market, rejecting a largely hands-off approach he outlined two weeks ago. … Most significantly, he urged the federal government to guarantee new mortgages for homeowners at risk of foreclosure.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

  • WSJ: “McCain’s New Housing Approach Represents A Major Shift.” The Wall Street Journal reported, “Sen. McCain’s new housing approach represents a major shift from the one he laid out in his speech two weeks ago, when he emphasized his opposition to any sort of government bailout for people who made bad decisions.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

April 15: McCain Offered New Response To Housing Crisis John McCain said, “We have a responsibility to act. … These reforms must wait on the next election, but to help our workers and our economy we must also act in the here and now.” [McCain Economy Speech, 4/15/08]

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