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A real missed opportunity': Andrew Yang swings at Obama's moves to bail out Wall Street over average Americans during the financial crash

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 28 Jan 2020


Andrew Yang swung at former President Obama's decision to bail out Wall Street over Main Street during the 2008-09 financial crisis in a New York Times interview, calling it a "real missed opportunity" of his presidency."When we had a fundamental choice to either recapitalize the banks or keep Americans in their homes, we chose the banks, we bailed out Wall Street to the tune of $4 trillion," Yang said.Yang's answer underscored some of the disillusionment within Democratic ranks over the Obama administration's handling of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang swung at former President Obama's decision to bail out Wall Street over average Americans in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis in a New York Times interview published Sunday.Asked whether Obama had made any mistakes during his two terms in office, Yang cited his handling of the financial crash."To me, there was a real missed opportunity that in some ways we have not yet recovered from," the former tech executive said.Yang said that it's difficult to play "armchair quarterback" when the American economy was "at stake," and noted he voted for Obama twice and served in his administration as an ambassador of entrepreneurship.But as the Obama administration reached a pivotal crossroads, Yang said, it chose to aid Wall Street institutions with a massive taxpayer-funded bailout."When we had a fundamental choice to either recapitalize the banks or keep Americans in their homes, we chose the banks, we bailed out Wall Street to the tune of $4 trillion," Yang said.Millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure at the height of the crisis.Yang's answer was a stark contrast from other Democratic presidential candidates The Times interviewed, which included Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.Most of them heaped praise onto the former president, given his skyhigh popularity among Democratic voters, and few offered any criticism. Klobuchar, though, said she would have prioritized curbing the soaring costs of prescription drugs as part of the Affordable Care Act.The former tech executive's broader critique of the Obama administration's economic record illuminates some disillusionment among Democrats over how it managed the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.In a bid to prevent the economy from hurtling off a cliff, Obama supported a $700 billion bailout package in September 2008 to bolster and stabilize the financial services industry.The bank bailouts were widely unpopular at the time, and the Obama administration declined to prosecute major financial executives from wrongdoing, fearing more economic instability.Obama described the bailout package as "a bum deal for people" in a 2018 Vice documentary interview."The dynamic you have at that juncture is that the actions that are necessary to save the financial system are by any definition bad politics," Obama said.Join the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
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