“Distrust with Wall Street and with Washington is probably greater than at any time in our history,” Mr. Perry said at a Midtown luncheon for the Committee to Unleash Economic Prosperity, a pro-business group. “Wall Street should not be left off the hook for their bad behavior … instead of them being punished, it was the average American who paid the tremendous price. The fact of the matter is, to be quite frank: we got screwed.”
Striking a populist chord heard frequently in liberal circles, the Republican presidential candidate blamed Wall Street and reckless governmental housing policies for the country’s ongoing economic malaise. He said he would work to free up credit for small businesses, repeal Dodd-Frank financial regulations and not bail out any large Wall Street banks.
He said Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the government-backed mortgage lenders, were part of an effort that turned capitalism into “corporatism,” pushing shoddy loans on unwitting borrowers who lacked the resources to afford a home. “I’m tired of politicians bashing Wall Street while ignoring the sins of Washington, D.C. It was Washington regulators who fell asleep at the switch,” he said.
“During the good times of the 90s, the seeds were sown to do great harm to the middle class of America,” he added, noting that the Clinton economy led to “economic chaos.” With Fannie Mac and Freddie Mae still undertaking what he deemed “relaxed credit standards,” Mr. Perry said another economic crash was imminent.