Possible Republican VP Candidate
Historical retrospective on Phil Gramm from Henry C K Liu published in Asia Times On Line:
Phil Gramm, who began his political career as a Democratic congressman in the Texas populist tradition, changed party affiliation to become a neo-liberal Republican senator from Texas. As Republican chairman and ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, he spearheaded the Gramm-Leach-Bailey Act of 1999 with the conviction that higher bank profits commensurate with higher risk were the salvation of the economy, reversing the age-old principle that banks should be the economy's most risk-averse institution.
Between 1995 and 2000, Gramm received more than $1 million in campaign contribution from the securities and investment industry, more than he received from oil and gas interests that traditionally were a key source of financial energy in Texas politics. After retiring from politics, Gramm became vice-chairman of the investment banking arm of Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), an institution at present in the spotlight for massive losses from subprime mortgage exposure. Gramm has been an economic adviser to the presidential campaign of Republican candidate John McCain since summer 2007. He is also rumored to be one of several possible running mates to McCain for 2008.
Gramm became linked to the Enron scandal when it came to light that his wife, Wendy, while serving on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was involved in granting an exemption for Enron from federal oversight, immediately after which she was named a director at Enron. It came to light later that Gramm had helped to turn the regulatory exemption into law as well as push through the deregulation of energy markets that led to the Enron scandal. During this period, Enron was a major contributor to Gramm's political campaigns.
(MG) There we have it - the Straight Talk Express, brought to we,
the people by those who have also given us
Silverado (and other) savings & loan scandal - the Keating 5
Sub-prime mortgage meltdown