Economy's Woes Put McCain Advisers in Spotlight

Brain trust's credentials questioned in economic slump
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 1:00 PM CDT
Businesswoman and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, right, campaigns with John McCain at a town hall style campaign event at Andiamo Celebrity Showroom in Michigan, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – John McCain's choice of economic advisers is stirring up controversy, the Washington Post reports. Phil Gramm is vice-chairman of troubled UBS and oversaw widespread deregulation as chair of the Senate Banking Committee in the late 1990s, and Carly Fiorina was publicly ousted as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. In the current economic climate, their aggressive style of capitalism may be a liability.

Fiorina has taken a higher-profile role in the campaign, but Gramm's association with McCain is older and deeper. Although some defend his record, one economist calls the ex-senator "the most aggressive advocate of every predatory and rapacious element that the financial sector has," and describes him as "a sorcerer's apprentice of instability and disaster in the financial system."