“K-e-a-t-i-n-g-5”

AP News Dispatch:

McCain: Greed created Wall Street’s problems, By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Filed at 12:52 p.m. ET

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain says Wall Street’s financial turmoil is the result of unchecked corporate greed.The Republican says government must protect the public from investment schemes too complex for people to understand or regulate.McCain told a crowd of several thousand at a rally Tuesday in Tampa, Florida, that people have the right to know when their jobs and pensions and the entire economy are, in his words, ”being put at risk by recklessness on Wall Street.”

McCain has a reputation as a free-marketeer, but he says that Washington regulatory agencies need to be overhauled.

Instead of a dozen federal agencies behaving badly, he says the nation needs the best ones doing the right job.

Let me see if I follow this: The problem is corporate greed and John McCain is the solution?

The same John McCain? Certainly not the same McCain who, even now, is swaddled daily by corporate lobbyists. That McCain? Maybe he’ll appoint Charles Keating to help him police Wall Street. You know, the Keating who looted Lincoln Savings while McCain and four other United States senators acted at lookouts.

This is from Wikipedia:

In 1989, American Continental Corporation, the parent of Lincoln Savings, went bankrupt. More than 21,000 investors, most of them elderly, lost their life savings (in total about $285 million.) This occurred largely because they held securities backed by the parent company rather than deposits in the federally-insured institution — a distinction apparently lost on many if not most depositors until it was too late. The federal government covered almost $3 billion of Lincoln’s losses when it seized the institution. Many creditors were made whole, and the government then attempted to liquidate the seized assets through its Resolution Trust Corporation, often at pennies on the dollar compared to what the property had allegedly been worth and the valuation at which loans against it had been made.

In 1989, Keating was subpoenaed to testify before the House Banking Committee, but refused to answer questions, invoking his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

McCain and his wife Cindy, by their own accounts, stayed at Keating’s Bahamas vacation home about ten times. All the while, McCain was exercising influence to keep federal regulators off Keating’s back.

“The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One” is the title of the book written about the exploits of Keating and his U.S. Senate hand-holders.

How John McCain could utter the words “greed” and not fear being struck dead by lightning is beyond me.