McCain: Market Turmoil Rippling Through Economy
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
This is Morning Edition from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne at NPR West.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. The Senate votes tonight on a $700 billion financial bailout plan. Both presidential candidates are expected to vote yes. In an interview a short time ago on Morning Edition, Senator John McCain told us he supports this plan even though he's worried about expanding the role of government.
Senator JOHN MCCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Republican Presidential Nominee): Of course I worry about it, but I worry about a lot of things. I worry about whether it's going to succeed or not. I worry about the fact that what is - how beneficial effect is this going to have on the European and Asian financial systems where - that are showing signs of great strain as well. I worry about a lot of things. But I also believe that this measure needs to be taken, and it needs to be taken as quickly as possible.
INSKEEP: Senator McCain speaking earlier today on Morning Edition. We have reports this morning on both presidential candidates, starting with NPR's Scott Horsley.
SCOTT HORSLEY: John McCain is working to change the image of the financial rescue package, promoting it as an economic lifeline for ordinary Americans, not a giveaway to Wall Street.
Senator MCCAIN: One of the reasons why Congress failed to act effectively is because it hasn't really sunk in that the people who are hurting and are being hurt are Main Street, families, small businesses, those kinds of people that are the engine of our economy.
HORSLEY: McCain held a round-table meeting with Iowa businesspeople yesterday at a concrete forms company where he tried to offer some concrete examples of how market turmoil is rippling through the American economy. He said franchisees of a hamburger chain can no longer get credit from GE Capital to remodel their restaurants or add equipment. Students at a Milwaukee technical college could no longer get private school loans.
Senator MCCAIN: Families being able to stay in their homes or purchase a new home or new automobiles, small businesses that function on a steady line of credit are now seeing that dry up.
HORSLEY: McCain, like Obama, suggested that the limit on federally insured bank deposits be raised so those with more than $100,000 don't have to worry that their savings are safe. He also called on the Treasury Department to act creatively to protect a variety of financial accounts the way it's already done with money market funds. At the meeting, CEO Larry Zimpleman of the Principal Financial Group told McCain people with 401(k) funds lost $850 billion in Monday's stock market plunge. That's $150 billion more than the maximum upfront cost of the rescue plan.
Mr. LARRY ZIMPLEMAN (CEO, Principal Financial Group): These are $10, $15, $25, $100,000, $200,000 accounts. These are not Wall Street titans.
HORSLEY: Yesterday the stock market regained almost two-thirds of the ground it lost on Monday as hopeful investors bet that Congress would come back and pass a rescue plan. Cautious lenders are still in a show-me state, and ordinary credit got a little bit harder to come by. Scott Horsley, NPR News, Kansas City.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.