Democrats React To Crisis In Financial Institutions
Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama
"The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store. Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.
"I certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems, but I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes to. It’s a philosophy we’ve had for the last eight years – one that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. It’s a philosophy that says even common-sense regulations are unnecessary and unwise, and one that says we should just stick our heads in the sand and ignore economic problems until they spiral into crises.
"This country can’t afford another four years of this failed philosophy. For years, I have consistently called for modernizing the rules of the road to suit a 21st century market – rules that would protect American investors and consumers. And I’ve called for policies that grow our economy and our middle-class together. That is the change I am calling for in this campaign, and that is the change I will bring as President."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
“Unfortunately, what we are seeing on Wall Street is the legacy of the Bush-McCain economic policies that have failed this nation. Failing to police lenders and neglecting to protect consumers ushered in the subprime crisis that has brought the American economy and Wall Street to their knees. This ‘anything goes’ approach to governing has resulted in lost jobs and carries an enormous price tag for the American taxpayer.
“These events are a stark reminder that America needs a fresh and improved approach to governing, not one led by a leader who insists that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong, as Sen. McCain insisted today."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
“In the midst of a dire economic situation, President Bush this morning characterized recent market developments as an ‘adjustment’ that can be painful for investors and employees of the firms, while Senator McCain said the ‘fundamentals of our economy are strong.’ President Bush, Senator McCain, and their Republican Party are out of touch and apparently ill-equipped to get our economy back on track.
“Millions of Americans are feeling the pain of eight years of disastrous economic policies – job losses, foreclosed homes, reduced home values, eroded pensions, high gas prices and compromised financial futures. We cannot allow the economic policy failures of the Bush Administration to continue to jeopardize the financial future of millions of Americans."
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
"The administration has danced to the drum beat of deregulation for the past eight years and now everybody is paying the price. Today’s news directly affects thousands of American jobs and the savings of countless middle class families. In the days ahead, we need to focus on containing the damage as much as possible. In the months ahead, we need to set limits on financial markets based on realism rather than wishful thinking."
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)
“The economic crisis facing our country is deepening, as we saw over the weekend with the failure of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch. To fully understand the implications of these events, we need to learn more about the Administration’s involvement, and its plans going forward.
“Millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet as unemployment rises, home values plummet, and everyday necessities like food and gas cost more than ever before. The Banking Committee has played a vital role both in revealing the pattern of lax regulatory oversight that helped to create this financial crisis, and in addressing related economic problems by crafting comprehensive legislation passed earlier this year. As Chairman, I will continue to work on solutions to help Americans weather this storm, including strengthening the housing sector, developing a second stimulus package, and restructuring the regulation of the financial sector.”
Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
“For eight years the Bush Republicans failed to mind the store on Wall Street and now we are seeing the consequences. President Bush and John McCain both say ‘the fundamentals of our economy are strong,’ but working families are hurting as their 401k’s lose value and more homes head to foreclosure.
"We need a fundamental change in how we oversee financial markets and institutions to prevent these collapses from happening again, but clearly the Republicans are unable to deliver. Democrats are preparing a bold economic recovery package to revitalize our economy and it's time for John McCain and the Bush Republicans to get on board and support our plan.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
"The collapse of Lehman Brothers and the stock markets' ensuing free fall today are deeply troubling to Rhode Island families worrying about their financial future. This is a new low for the Bush economy - and another sign that the last thing America needs is four more years of the same old ideas.
"What's more distressing is that even as the markets plummeted, John McCain said again today that ‘the fundamentals of our economy are strong.' I think Rhode Islanders struggling with sky-high gas prices, record foreclosure rates, and mounting unemployment would disagree.
"As the dust settles on the worst economy in memory, families fighting to protect their livelihoods want to know that we're working hard to put our financial system back on track. That will take real change in Washington - change we desperately need."