There's nothing like the irony of a former Lehman Brothers executive and the husband of a former Goldman Sachs managing director sparring about how we're supposed to rein in Wall Street.
Somehow the debate moderator Neil Cavuto failed to mention the fact that these two have some serious conflicts of interests if anyone is supposed to take their rhetoric seriously during this Tuesday's Republican debate on Fox Business. I'm sure that everyone else is just as shocked as I am that corporate suck-up Cavuto would let something like that slip past him.
Here's more on their dust up from The Hill: Cruz, Kasich spar on bank bailouts:
Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich sparred during Tuesday night's debate in Milwaukee on whether to let big banks fail or bail them out in crisis.
After Cruz flatly stated that he would let a massive financial institution like Bank of America fail without government aid, Kasich dismissed the idea by arguing individuals in charge have to make tougher calls.
“When a bank is ready to go under and depositors are getting ready to lose their life savings, you just don’t say we believe in philosophical concerns,” the Ohio governor said at the contest hosted by Fox Business Network. “Philosophy doesn’t work when you run something. ... We need an executive who's been tried, has been tested.”
The Texas senator countered, criticizing Kasich for being willing to bail out a bank after the 2008 bailouts, which policymakers argued at the time were necessary but the public still reviles.
“Why would you then bail out rich Wall Street banks and not Mom and Pop?” Cruz asked.
Kasich argued that banks need to hold higher capital levels to reduce the need for a potential bailout, but Cruz kept up the pressure.
“What would you do if the bank was failing?” he asked.
“I would not let the people who put their money in there all go down,” Kasich replied.
He said he would "separate those people who can afford it versus those people who are the hard-working folks who put their money in those institutions," a comment that drew boos from the audience. "When you are faced ... with banks going under and people who put their life savings in there, you’ve got to deal with it. You can’t turn a blind eye there.”
For his part, Cruz said he would not take any steps as president to save a failing bank but suggested that the Federal Reserve could step in and use its powers as a lender of last resort to try and help save it.
The exchange between Kasich and Cruz was part of a broader debate about financial regulation during the debate.