Jeb Hensarling: Mortage Crisis Was Caused by Government Intervention

Republican Jeb Hensarling has represented Dallas' fifth congressional district since 2003, and has close ties to both Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence. Ending a year-long quest, Hensarling, who is chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, secured passage in the House in early June for a sweeping roll-back of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, known as the Financial Choice Act.Hensarling pushes legislation tethered to a fiercely ideological view of free markets and free enterprise. That philosophical approach is on full display in the Financial Choice Act, arguing that bank regulation has gone too far in the wake of the recession, making it difficult for small banks and credit unions to compete with massive Wall Street banks who can more easily afford the costs of compliance.The plan has almost zero support in the Senate. Still, Hensarling says he's confident President Donald Trump will take much of the policy direction in the bill and implement it through executive action or through changes at the regulatory bodies themselves.Let's start with your mentor. How did Phil Gramm's views influence your philosophy of what role government should play in the economy?Well, five or six lifetimes ago, when I was an undergraduate at Texas A&M, I signed up for ECON 311 Money & Banking to be taught by, then, Professor Phil Graham. He was already gaining a reputation on campus as a guy who testified before Congress. So we obviously had to go and listen to him. I guess to some extent, Michael, it's kind of like something had been removed from my eyes and the world became so much more clear because once you understood economics and economic analysis, it's almost like no human interaction or phenomena defied analysis. I became somebody who was committed to the proposition, if in doubt err on the side of freedom. I think the greatest wealth-creating machine known to mankind was the free-enterprise system. And, there is a distinct difference between business interests and free-enterprise interest. I don't confuse the two. Some do. I do not. And I just decided at an early age that everybody ought to give back something to the Republic. If I ever had the chance to run for public office, I would.  Continue reading...

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