Murdoch sees greater government role

News Corp. chief touts free market despite economic fears

NEW YORK -- News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch acknowleged Monday that a bigger government role is necessary in the current downturn, while reiterating his belief in free markets and warning of the dangers of over-regulation.

Speaking to Brian Sullivan on his conglomerate's Fox Business Network Monday afternoon, the media mogul also said the U.S. economy remains "weak," and he fears "great inflation," according to a transcript.

"Whether we like it or not, there's going to be increased regulation, and the government inserting a lot of taxpayer money into business," Murdoch said. "It's inevitable that they're going to play a bigger part. We have to accept it. On the other hand, we also have to agree that outside of that, we want to avoid over-regulating. We've got to stay believing in the free market system."

Asked whether free markets caused the housing bubble, he argued that the bubble developed "because of Congress pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into lending money to people who couldn't afford it and blowing up the price of housing; a Fed which was too loose with the money."

He also called the government's stimulus package "OK," but expressed concern that it will cause higher budget deficits for 10 years or longer that will be a challenge for the long term.
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