Bloomberg: Obama called for the overhaul of the financial-regulatory system and tougher enforcement well before this past week's traumas.
Detached observers who watched him last week, especially in a Bloomberg Television interview, were taken by how conversant and comfortable he was on the subject, despite his thin record. Few detached observers came away with that impression watching the Arizona senator.
Much of the re-regulatory fever focuses on the Federal Reserve and any new agencies created to clean up the fiasco. Central, however, will be a more vigorous Securities and Exchange Commission, or whatever holds that investor-protection function.
McCain displayed a sudden interest in the SEC last week when he demanded that Chairman Chris Cox be fired. When his campaign was asked if the senator had ever criticized the current commission's performance before, they failed to respond.
All For Obama
Tellingly, three former SEC chairmen, a Democrat, Arthur Levitt, and two Republicans, David Ruder and Bill Donaldson, have endorsed Obama. Levitt is a board member of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
Donaldson, who was tapped by Bush to head the SEC, says Obama called him last year about the financial-regulatory problems. He has never heard from McCain.
``Obama has been talking about the need for better financial regulation well before this crisis hit and has done some real thinking about it,'' says Donaldson, a lifelong Republican. ``McCain comes across as someone who suddenly realized changes have to be made.''
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