"Foreclosure Phil" Gramm & John McCain

Yesterday it was revealed that Federal Regulators have been looking into the manipulation of commodity futures trading over the last six months. But as Congressman John Dingell pointed out, letting the CFTC lead this investigation is the classic fox guarding the henhouse scenario.

“For too long, C.F.T.C. has been operating in the dark,” Mr. Dingell said. “Unfortunately, the C.F.T.C. has not proposed how to close off the loopholes that allow commodity index funds and others to take such massive positions that they possibly distort oil futures markets.”

It’s time for the Obama campaign to point out to the American public that the CFTC’s record of corruption was created by Phil Gramm (with assist from his wife Wendy). As David Corn points out in his devastating investigative article on Gramm, he birthed not only the coming commodity bubble but the sub-prime meltdown. And Phil Gramm is John McCain’s key economic adviser, who only yesterday McCain hailed as a self-less public servant.

Who’s to blame for the biggest financial catastrophe of our time? There are plenty of culprits, but one candidate for lead perp is former Sen. Phil Gramm. Eight years ago, as part of a decades-long anti-regulatory crusade, Gramm pulled a sly legislative maneuver that greased the way to the multibillion-dollar subprime meltdown. Yet has Gramm been banished from the corridors of power? Reviled as the villain who bankrupted Middle America? Hardly. Now a well-paid executive at a Swiss bank, Gramm cochairs Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign and advises the Republican candidate on economic matters. He’s been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary should McCain win. That’s right: A guy who helped screw up the global financial system could end up in charge of US economic policy. Talk about a market failure.

When the American people find out that Hedge Fund Billionaires have been gaming the oil futures market with 10% down payments, thanks to John McCain’s future Treasury Secretary Phil Gramm–Pat Buchanan’s old “Pitchfork Brigade” is gonna come looking for these two old coots (above) and its not going to be pretty.

This entry was posted in Business, Economics, Journalism, Politics, Recession, Technology, Wall Street and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to "Foreclosure Phil" Gramm & John McCain

  1. Morgan Warstler says:

    Maybe Obama can quit UBS-style players quicker than McCain, altho I doubt it… you should too.

    “The investment banker Robert Wolf first met Barack Obama one afternoon in December in a midtown conference room. Obama was in town to deliver a speech at a charity dinner for children in poverty at the Mandarin Oriental—but also to pursue another, less high-minded, but more momentous, objective: to begin the process of attempting to pick Hillary Clinton’s pocket.

    The conference room belonged to George Soros, the billionaire bête noire of the right. After talking to Soros for an hour about his prospective bid for the White House, Obama walked down the hall and found assembled a dozen of the city’s heaviest-hitting Democratic fund-raisers: investment banker Hassan Nemazee, Wall Street power Blair Effron, private-equity hotshot Mark Gallogly, hedge-fund manager Orin Kramer. Most had been big-time John Kerry backers in 2004. Most had a connection to the Clintons. All were officially uncommitted for 2008.”


  2. garyb50 says:

    Mor War = MAXZERO

  3. Ken Ballweg says:

    And these people are going to advise Obama on economics??

    Anyone in politics is tainted at some point by money. The issue is who gets to make the decisions after the election.

  4. Morgan Warstler says:

    Ken, that’s nice talk, but I’d be freaked out if Obama didn’t show deference to Warren Buffet types.

  5. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan-You don’t know dick about economics. Obama is not going to have any problem pinning the tail of the downturn on McCain and his donkeys like Phil Gramm.

    First off, Warren Buffet has been warning us for years about the danger of derivatives, but the Wily Phil Gramm was able to protect the CFTC from any oversight. And then his wife ran the CFTC, helped deregulate the electricity trading business so Enron could game the market and then (like Magic) moved to the Enron Board of Directors.

    I did a lot of work on the S & L scandal with Steve Pizzo, who wrote the definitive book on Keating and all the others called Inside Job. John McCain and his Budweiser wife, were neck deep in the muck with Keating. Perhaps Steve will weigh in on these pages.

  6. My my my. As my father used say, “the more things change the more things stay the same.” After Inside Job came out I was asked to write an Op-Ed for the New York Times on the S&L mess. It was entitled. “No High Ground On the Mountain of Dead Thrifts.” In it I named them main politicians who’d made it all possible, and Phil Gramm was right on the top of that list. He phoned me the next day to complain. As it was I was on my out the door to catch a plane so I blew him off. He immediately phone Ed Gray, who had been the head regulator at the time, a decent fellow, but not the brightest crayon in the box. Gray later told me Gramm said, “Hey Ed, I can’t have this kind stuff out there. I’m going to run for President. Can you write me a letter saying I was not one of the people who helped create this mess.?” Of course Ed, always anxious to please people in power, did just that, even though it was a lie. Gramm never made it to the Oval Office but he did stick around long enough to team up with R. Jim Leach to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, setting the stage for the current crisis. Now there’s talk that McCain wants to tap Gramm as his Treasury Secretary. God help us all if that should ever come to pass.

    Thanks Jon for having a memory. Too many don’t these days.


  7. Morgan Warstler says:

    Jon my point is that Obama is going to follow the advice of Buffet, and that’s good enough for me, but I don’t think it will be good enough for you.

    You are seeing boogie men and jumping at shadows.

  8. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Self assertion, while common today, is and always has been, obnoxious.

  9. Hugo says:

    Good reporting, you guys, now as before.

    Steve, do you share Jon’s high regard for David Corn’s piece?

    And Jon, what of that fine Trojan Mr. Cox? I take it that conceeding oversight to C.F.T.C. is not a case of “setting a thief to catch a thief”, as FDR said he’d done with his appointment of old Joe? Well then shouldn’t Cox weigh in?

    Tennessee, I would assert that you’re a dandy aphorist.

  10. Rachel says:

    Jon, every village needs an idiot. We appear to have ours.

    And I too am enjoying the wit of Tennessee, who is balancing things up nicely.

  11. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    If The Voice of the People would like to sound less counter intelligent, he would read The Essays of Warren Buffett, Lessons for Corporate America.


    If The Voice of The People respects Warren Buffett, he might want to find out what Mr. Buffett thinks.

    Were Warren Buffett to read the proud nonsense of TVOTP, he would never stop throwing up. (With apologies to Mr. Allen.)

  12. Voice of the People says:


    I think you mis-understand (or seek to mis-construe), let me clear:

    1. McCain and Obama both have UBS-style supporters who are a looser with the economy.

    2. This doesn’t make me nervous.

    3. It would make me nervous if Obama didn’t at least routinely mention Warren Buffet – because it means to me, he’s not that big of a populist.

    4. I think Jon is a bigger populist, and he’s going to be disappointed by Obama because of #1 and #3.

    I do hope this helps you stop seeing boogie men.

  13. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    I see no boogie men. I do, however, occasionally see pompous, self important, over bearing asses. This is one of those occasions.

  14. Voice of the People says:

    That’s funny, because right now I am mooning you. :)

  15. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Don’t bother mooning over me. I don’t swing your way, you vulgar little bitch.

    If you meant, as you wrote, mooning me, as in showing me your ass, you do that for all with each missive.

    At least you have stopped using that absurd nom de plume, Warstler, or whatever humorless, Nazi-type persona you have adopted here.

  16. Another Jon says:

    Just to piggy-back on TWS’s link to the book….we have enough Buffet-Goodness available free on the interwebs should we be so inclined.


  17. Dan says:

    I have to start reading more good books on contemporary issues. Normally I read history of all eras, plays, and over the last few years, historical fiction (a definite indication that my mental decline has begun, I think).

    But I keep seeing interesting books mentioned here.

  18. Pingback: Carly Fiorina–Perfect For McCain « Jon Taplin’s Blog

  19. Greg Watson says:

    I totally agree with you. Thank you for sharing

Leave a Reply