John Kasich, the governor of Ohio and former chairman of the House Budget Committee, is the only presidential candidate with banking experience. He served as a managing director at the now-defunct Lehman Brothers from 2001 until its collapse in 2008. Perhaps as a result, his positions on financial issues are more nuanced than many of his competitors'.

'Too Big to Fail'

John Kasich is one of the few candidates so far in the election to argue for government intervention in the event of another financial crisis.

"When a bank is ready to go under and depositors are getting ready to lose their life savings, you just don't say we believe in philosophical concerns," he said during the fourth primary debate on Fox Business.

He later added that he "would not let the people who put their money in there all go down," and that he'd "figure out how to separate those people who can afford it versus those people, or the hardworking folks who put money in those institutions."

Kasich has not been asked about whether he feels the current federal deposit insurance limit, set at $250,000, already sufficiently covers depositors.

Regulatory Relief

Kasich has said he'd roll back Dodd-Frank if given the chance, so as not to "kill the small banks and the medium-sized banks," according to a Fox News interview in August.

He said that "the big banks need to reserve against risks," and called on regulators to take a tougher stance against them.

"And the regulators need to bark. They need to not only bark, but bite when they see the big boys beginning to do things that are inappropriate," Kasich added.

'Crony Capitalism'

As a former Lehman Brothers executive, Kasich has a complicated relationship with Wall Street. He's said that Wall Street is "overwhelmingly too greedy," while also defending his time at the failed investment bank, which has become a symbol of the financial crisis.

"I was a banker and I was proud of it. And I traveled the country and learned how people made jobs," he said at the third primary debate on Oct. 28. "We ought to have politicians who not only have government experience but know how the CEOs and the job creators work."

The governor has also called for the end of the Export-Import bank, a program disliked by many conservatives who view it as a form of "corporate welfare."


Kasich has said little about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's actions so far this campaign, despite the fact that Richard Cordray, its director, was a onetime political rival in Ohio. Before he was confirmed to the consumer agency, it was rumored that Cordray, the state's former attorney general, was weighing a run to unseat Kasich as governor.

Fed Policy

Kasich has not elaborated on his plans for the Fed, but has criticized some of his rivals who have called for "auditing the Fed" by handing oversight of monetary policy to Congress.

"I don't like what the Fed is doing, but I'll tell you what worries me more than anything else: turning the Fed over to the Congress of the United States," he said during the fourth Republican primary debate in November.

Tax Reform

Individual income tax: Kasich's plan would establish three brackets, with the top rate reduced from 39.6% to 28%.

Capital gains:The long-term capital gains rate would be reduced to 15%

Corporate tax: Kasich would lower the top business tax rate from 35% to 25%. The R&D tax credit for small business would be doubled.

Estate tax: Kasich would eliminate the estate tax.

Health Care and Employee Benefits

  • Supports a full repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Wants to maintain the Medicaid expansion. (PBS)
  • Wants all health insurance regulation to be done by states. (Washington Examiner)
  • Would look at raising retirement age. (AARP)
Top 10 Financial Donors
Huntington Bancshares $13,700
Bank of America $6,400
Wells Fargo $5,900
Fifth Third $5,400
Glenmede Trust $5,400
Moreland Management $5,400
Goldman Sachs $4,700
Credit Suisse Group $4,216
UBS $3,100
JPMorgan Chase $2,700

Source: Center for Responsive Politics. Data as of Sept. 30, 2015 

Back to all candidates and issues.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.