(WATERFORD, MICH.) – John McCain called for an investigation into whether there was malfeasance on the part of AIG executives today after the U.S. government agreed to bail out the country's largest insurance company to the tune $85 billion.
"These actions stem from failed regulation, reckless management, and a casino culture on Wall Street that has crippled one of the most important companies in America. The focus of any such action should be to protect the millions of Americans who hold insurance policies, retirement plans and other accounts with AIG," McCain said.
"We must not bailout the management and speculators who created this mess. They had months of warnings following the Bear Stearns debacle, and they failed to act."
McCain also called for "strong and effective regulation" of the financial services industry, which he has done repeatedly over the past few days of the financial meltdown, but something he has not always supported. McCain called for deregulation of the banking industry in his support of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which knocked down the obstacles between banking, investment and insurance companies. That point was noted by Barack Obama in his reaction to the AIG bailout.
"Despite his eleventh hour conversion to the language of reform, Senator McCain has subscribed to this philosophy for twenty-six years in Washington and the events of this week have rendered it a colossal failure," he said.
"It is time for a new economic strategy, guided by the principle that America prospers when all Americans prosper, where common-sense rules of the road ensure that competition is fair, open, and honest."