John McCain and Barack Obama will meet tonight in Nashville for the second presidential debate. As Americans worry about a confusing federal rescue plan, a falling stock market, and a financial crisis that is spreading across the globe, the New York Times asked economists to suggest the questions they would most like to hear the candidates answer. R. Glenn Hubbard offered these questions:
R. Glenn Hubbard
2. The Federal Reserve has had to step into the political fray to an uncomfortable degree. Are we asking too much of the Fed? Should we create a strong financial regulator that would stand shoulder to shoulder with the Fed?
3. The existing capital standards for financial companies helped create the illusion that risky assets were "safe." A reformed system could mandate more capital, to support incremental risk-taking, during a boom and lower such capital requirements in a bust. By changing capital cushions over credit cycles, banks would be less likely to be forced into asset fire sales. Would you support such a change?
4. Do you support the appointment of a presidential commission to report quickly on the causes of the current crisis and present options for regulatory reform?
R. Glenn Hubbard is a visiting scholar at AEI.