Wall St. Crisis: Forbes Blames the Fed & More

The market got slaughtered Monday and opened lower Tuesday morning amid turmoil on Wall Street. Lehman Brothers collapsed, Merrill Lynch agreed to be bought by Bank of America and major problems surfaced at insurance giant AIG . To help investors sort through the mess, CNBC asked the heavyweights to weigh in.

Forbes: Blame It on the Fed

“It’s not a lack of regulation that did this, although that was a part of it. As you know, the main culprit, in terms of allowing this thing to go on…was the mistakes by the Federal Reserve in pumping excess money into the system.”

- Steve Forbes, Forbes CEO

McCain on Wall Street Crisis

"We need to catch up with oversight and regulation and transparency, but obviously, we don't want to burden average citizens with over-regulation and government bureaucracy, and I'm proud to be a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, who said, 'Unfettered capitalism leads to corruption,' and we've got to fix this."

- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Biden Talks Solutions

"Stop the bleeding by the things that caused this to occur, number one. Number two, create jobs. Number three, try to keep people in their homes by changing the bankruptcy laws (and) make sure we have common sense regulation. If you want to come and borrow money from the Fed, that's another way of saying from the American taxpayer, then we get a chance to look into your books."

- Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del.

NY Governor on AIG

“We have to recognize that AIG is not like Lehman Brothers—it is retail. It operates in 130 companies, has 116,000 employees (and) there’s 74 million customers. This would be an effect on the entire market if AIG goes down. It affects jobs, it affects policy holders (and) it affects drivers.”

- Gov. David Paterson, D-N.Y.

Menendez on Bridge Loan

“There’s a difference between a bailout and a possibility of a bridge loan. And I would probably look more favorably possibly on a bridge loan as a way to preserve AIG … If a bridge loan could give it the time to be able to sustain the present weathering that all these entities are going through it might be an important one to our economy.”

- Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

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