Election 2014  
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6 Top Economists Explain Which President Is More Likely to Speed the Next Financial Crisis

Five out of six say Romney is a worse bet on crisis-avoidance. But Obama has big challenges to address if re-elected.

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"If we learned anything from eight years of George W. Bush, a Romney administration is the nation's best chance of, once and for all, destroying the American dream.”

3. Gar Alperovitz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative:

“Romney clearly would be more likely to hasten the next financial crisis, first by the kind of (radically reduced) regulatory enforcement (and deregulation) he has promised; second, by undoing the modest Dodd-Frank legislation; third by appointing an Attorney General and Treasury Secretary almost certain to give the store away to Wall Street as a matter both of ideology and inclination.”

4. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC:

“I would say that the prospects look better with Obama, but not by much. If you go by what he says (who knows what he would do), Romney doesn't take any restraints on the banking system seriously. He has spoken with explicit contempt of Dodd-Frank, not attacking specific provisions, but has implied that the idea that the government had to rein in the financial sector was fundamentally wrong-headed.

"On the other hand, Obama has repeatedly backed away from any policy that would seriously hurt the financial industry. The top two on my list would be breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks and a financial transactions tax. More importantly he has been reluctant to talk honestly about the basis for the crisis, an out-of-control housing bubble that the regulators were too incompetent to recognize. In fact, he hired back many of these top incompetents and gave them key positions in his administration (Bernanke tops the list).

"Failing to recognize an $8 trillion housing bubble and to understand that its collapse would cause serious damage to the economy is an error of monumental proportions. It is like a school bus driver coming to work drunk and getting all the kids killed by driving into oncoming traffic. Obama's decision to give all the drunken bus drivers an amnesty virtually ensures that they will continue to drink on the job and that they will be no better in preventing the next bubble than they were in preventing the last one."

5. James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas:

"This election is important for many  issues; avoiding a future financial crisis isn't one of them because it's not an issue that differentiates the candidates so far as I can tell, except maybe the effect of the fiscal stance.

"On that, I might give a slight edge to Mr. Romney, since Republicans in power famously do not care about budget deficits. Under the Democrats, the coming campaign for 'fiscal responsibility' might just be bad enough to push the financial sector back over the edge. Still, that's not a reason to vote for Romney."

6. Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and author of The Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems:

“New York bank stocks swerve with every twist in the European crisis that raises the probability of a 'Lehman in reverse' – a bank failure over there that would spread over here. That tells you all you need to know about whether President Obama’s Dodd-Frank 'reform' bill really fixed the problem of our too-big-to-fail banks or not, even if our giants can still borrow more cheaply than smaller banks because of the implied government guarantee.