Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said the United States is headed toward a stock-market crash because Federal Reserve officials are "playing games with money to juice the system" but have "created bubbles."
"The Fed has, for those with assets, driven up stock prices," he said in a wide-ranging CNBC interview
"But that's not built on anything real. It's not built on an increase in the intrinsic value of those assets. That's just playing games with money, which means a crash will be coming."
Meanwhile, Cruz said he would make lifting tax and regulatory burdens a priority if elected president and protect the small banks he said were being hurt by stricter bank regulations.
Cruz, who is running to become the party's 2016 nominee in the Nov. 8 presidential election, targeted the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law as enabling the nation's large banks.
"The big banks have all gotten bigger," Cruz said in the CNBC interview.
Cruz has said he would not bail out big banks if they failed again, as the did during the 2007-8 financial crisis triggered by faulty mortgage lending practices.
"The people that have been hammered are the little guys," he said. "It's the community banks, it's the small financial institutions that are going out of business at a record pace."
The lawyers and lobbyist for giant banks were "in the room" with the Democratic senators who wrote Dodd-Frank because they could absorb the cost of that while the little banks could not, Cruz said.
Cruz said the nation's tax structure is helping strangle U.S. economic growth and he would try to scale back taxes including corporate and death taxes. Cruz has advocated a flat tax rate, which he acknowledged would be difficult to enact.
Cruz said he would also try to achieve monetary stability and end the "roller coaster" with the U.S. dollar.
The U.S. senator from Texas told CNBC that a higher minimum wage would cost U.S. jobs and that setting minimum wage should be left up to states.
Raising the federal minimum wage has been a cornerstone of the Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, although the two disagree on how much it should be raised from the current $7.25. Republicans generally do not embrace a high minimum wage and front-runner Donald Trump has embraced a lower federal rate.
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