William K. Black
May 15, 2018 Bloomington, MN
As a savings and loan regulator, on April 9, 1987, I experienced Senator John McCain at his very worst. He, and his four Senate colleagues, collectively, the “Keating Five,” pressured my colleagues and me to withdraw our recommendation that our agency place Charles Keating’s Lincoln Savings and Loan into conservatorship. Keating was looting Lincoln Savings and would soon defraud thousands of widows. Lincoln Savings became the most expensive failure because the combination of the ‘Keating Five’ and Speaker of the House James Wright, Jr. successfully intimidated the new leadership of our regulatory agency. The cowardly new leadership team refused even to consider our conservatorship recommendation and took the unprecedented action of removing our regulatory jurisdiction over Lincoln Savings. Senator McCain and his colleagues acted badly for poor reasons and caused grave harm. Senator McCain has said that his actions on behalf of Keating caused him greater pain than his North Vietnamese torturers.