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Endgame for Gramm?

Posted on Apr 14, 2009

By Robert Scheer

One wonders if Phil Gramm has been made just a tad nervous by the news on Tuesday that one of UBS’ super-wealthy private clients has pleaded guilty to tax evasion. That’s the second case in two weeks involving the bank at which the former senator is a vice chairman, and 100 other clients are under investigation for possible bank-assisted tax fraud.       

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Gramm, the Republican former chair of the Senate Finance Committee, where he authored much of the deregulatory legislation at the heart of the current banking meltdown, has for the six years since he left office helped lead a foreign-owned bank specializing in tax dodges for the wealthy. These schemes by the Swiss-based UBS not only force the rest of us taxpayers to pay more to make up the government revenue shortfall but are blatantly illegal. In February, UBS admitted to having committed fraud and conspiracy and agreed to pay a fine of $780 million. Republican “Tea Baggers” take note: Offshore tax havens do not equal populist revolt.

In UBS’ “deferred prosecution agreement” with the Justice Department, the bank agreed to turn over the names of its secret account holders to avoid a criminal indictment. The complicity of top executives in this far-ranging scheme to use foreign tax havens to cheat the U.S. treasury of billions in uncollected taxes was noted at the time in a Justice Department statement: “Swiss bankers routinely traveled to the United States to market Swiss bank secrecy to United States clients interested in attempting to evade United States income taxes.”

What did Gramm think all of those Swiss bankers from his firm were doing over here? Was he totally clueless? The Justice Department statement suggests otherwise: “UBS executives knew that UBS’s cross-border business violated the law. They refused to stop this activity, however, and in fact instructed their bankers to grow the business. The reason was money—the business was too profitable to give up. This was not a mere compliance oversight, but rather a knowing crime motivated by greed and disrespect of the law.”

Is it conceivable that this “knowing crime,” so widespread within the UBS enterprise, was unknown to Vice Chairman Gramm—even though it primarily involved U.S. tax evasion, and he had been hired by the company because of his expertise in American law, some of which he helped to write? As Gramm said when he was hired in 2002 by UBS, the position “will provide me with the opportunity to practice what I have always preached. I have been involved in every major financial debate since I’ve been in the Congress.”


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How could Gramm, who prides himself on expertise in these matters, have been unaware of the damage that the Swiss bankers who worked for him were doing to American taxpayers? As the Justice Department said: “In 2004 alone, Swiss bankers allegedly traveled to the United States approximately 3,800 times to discuss their clients’ Swiss bank accounts. The information further alleges that UBS managers and employees used encrypted laptops and other counter-surveillance techniques to help prevent the detection of their marketing efforts and the identities and offshore assets of their U.S. clients.”

But then again, if you are Phil Gramm or his wife, Wendy, you might expect to get away with a great deal in the way of financial machinations. After all, neither has ever been held legally responsible for the Enron debacle, in which the Gramms played a major part.

As a top government regulator, Wendy Gramm changed the rules to make Enron’s chicanery possible, and as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Phil codified those rule changes into federal law. While Enron execs like Chairman Ken Lay (a major Gramm campaign contributor) were indicted, the charmed couple that created the loopholes Lay and others jumped through escaped legal responsibility.

After leaving the government, Wendy Gramm joined Enron’s board, where she headed the audit committee that managed to avoid auditing the company’s disgraceful accounting procedures—just as her husband has apparently looked the other way during his stint in the private sector with UBS. 

Sure, Phil Gramm lost his position as the co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign when he blamed the recession not on the banking deregulation he championed but rather the people of the United States, which he described as a “nation of whiners.” But that was a sideshow compared with the serious charges now swirling around UBS, charges that may finally prove to be Gramm’s undoing.

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By samosamo, April 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

By Jon, April 18 at 12:46 pm

I wholly concur, rendered into glue.

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By Jon, April 18, 2009 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
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Gramm is the definition of ‘scammer.’  He belongs in jail, but in Syria, not the US or a friendly European nation.  I don’t believe Gramm realizes how detested he is in the US.  The height of arrogance, hatred of the American people, Gramm deserves to be fully rendered.

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By Textynn, April 18, 2009 at 3:19 am Link to this comment
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Do you know how easy it is to get ahead when you don’t care about anyone. When you don’t care who you hurt, how many lies you tell,or how many people you destroy in your path. It’s pretty easy to be successful if you have no morals, especially if you are not bound by laws like the people you steal from.

Phil Gram is a criminal and should already be in jail, but the elite don’t go to jail. They are continually excused to lie,steal, and hurt people over and over again. Then they can tell the people they hurt and rob that they a mental. What’s wrong with a government that allows this type of criminal to continue having his way with the good innocent hardworking people of this country.

Our congress and senate, for the most part, are sell-outs and the American people don’t seem to rate much with them. How did this happen?  We need to replace these congressmen and senators that won’t protect us. And right now I feel the same way about Obama since he is deciding to allow the torture memo composers to be excused also. Today and yesterday was an all time sad day to be American.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 17, 2009 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Dwight Baker, I prefer to keep discussions public rather than private.

In one of your comments you mentioned something about votes being counted.

It isn’t votes that are stolen. It is elections that are stolen.

There are many ways to steal an election without stealing a single vote.

One way is to make sure that the only candidates on the ballot with any chance of winning, both have the same agenda.

Then it doesn’t matter which one wins.

Another way is to have the candidate who got the most votes concede to a candidate who got fewer votes.

Another way would be for Congress to claim fraud and reject some Electoral College votes.

The reason that the Constitution denies us the right to vote directly for President or Vice-President is that it was written by rich people to ensure that even if poor people got the vote, their vote wouldn’t be the final say.

In Venezuela they do have honest elections, but they don’t have an Electoral College and the Supreme Court may not intervene. The vote of the people, who vote directly for President and Vice-President (and also vote directly on Constitutional amendments), is the final say. So even if we had honest elections, we still wouldn’t have the final say and we still wouldn’t be able to directly elect (or directly remove) government officials.

I am an election boycott advocate.

I have a little website:

Read the featured discussions: Consensual Political Intercourse, The Fable of Lanova Messiah, and Republic vs. Democracy.

I will not join any group that advocates voting in a system where the people’s vote isn’t the final say.
In a democracy, the supreme power over government is vested in the people. In a democracy, I would be proud to vote. This is not a democracy—not even a republic.

Voting for people you cannot hold accountable is criminally insane.

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By KDelphi, April 17, 2009 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdr is right, again.

It is so infuriating. All of these people who caused all of this misery (financial, legal, the wars, the craping on the Constitution and Bill of Rights) are all just going to walk…

We got those kids down in Somalia, though! Yes we did!

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By hippie4ever, April 17, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

In an effort to be fair & balanced, it just makes sense that ultra-rich Americans hid their ill-gotten gains with a Swiss bank. After all, they did the Nazis a big favour too, and “business is business.” Besides, America was founded on theft and inequality, and nothing has really changed because the Creeks and other indiginous peoples cursed the Union before their premature demise. Nothing good has come out of the United States, just lots of rubbish and an unsustainable, anti-environmental lifestyle. Obama and “change we can believe in”? What a sad, sick joke, and only credible among the very badly educated: a plurality of the Amerikan public.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 17, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Here’s a link to the online video:

Orwell Rolls In His Grave

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By samosamo, April 17, 2009 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

By DWIGHTBAKER, April 17 at 8:20 am

I still take your posts with a good bit of skepicism as you are far to prone to put stuff and far far too much stuff that clutters these comments but here you seem to have become conscienous of what HAS been taking place for the last several decades; actually from what I have read and seen, that since the nixon era which is when the conservatives became disgusted with not being in or having the power they wanted, essentially control of the white house, congress and the supreme court and I rather believe the pentagon also. But at this time is when a certain joseph coors laid out a wad of cash to start up the first of what came to be many of these conservative think tanks, i.e. the heritage institute, the hoover institute, the cato institute and others. I was also at this time that the ‘young’ and brand new ‘neoconservatives’ became a factor, cheney, rumsfeld, rove and others. What you and I and the rest of us are experiencing today is the results of those decades of ‘think tank’ research that culminated with the w & dick illegal terms as potus & vpotus and the disaster that still just keeps on going.
But, if you want to go further into to whole imperial bullshit that goes back into the british empire you really need to read Mike Davis’ book, ‘Late Victorian Holocausts’ that basically goes back to the british’s doings in india and china which is not flattering at all for the british empire. In fact it is some very depressing and gruesome reading but it is just earlier versions of what is going down now the world over. I don’t know what your take on reading books is but it demonstrates that today is just history repeating itself.
Something else you may want to obtain, this time a dvd, is a documentary by Robert Kane Pappas titled ‘Orwell Rolls in His Grave’. You may be able to view it at InformationClearingHouse’s web site and this gives the why fors and what nots about the current state of our mainstream media.
Maybe you have read and seen both but I just I if not, both may at least be informative.

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By ron jeremy, April 17, 2009 at 12:19 am Link to this comment
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this american life did a great show on this whole thing.  it was quite a while ago, but you can listen or read the transcript at and it is show 355.  answers any questions about whey people were given loans who probably should not have received them

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By RickinSF, April 16, 2009 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment
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My favorite reference to Phil Gramm, said by an unknown Texan during the Clinton years:

“Phil Gramm would lie on credit even if he could tell the truth for free.”

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By msgmi, April 16, 2009 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment
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Phil Gramm epitomizes the political hubris on capitol hill. His political career as well as that of many more like him had one goal and that is of self enrichment and greed. An ideologue with no civic morals.

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By felicity, April 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

mike turner - Reagan swore he’d never intervene in foreign conflicts, that is until his popularity numbers started to tank.  He consulted his idol, Britain’s Thatcher - there was a piece of work - who told him to do what she had done to raise her numbers (Falkland Islands) because there’s nothing like invading a helpless country (so you’re guaranteed to win) to boost one’s political numbers.

Scratch a Republican (or a Democrat for that matter) and you get a politician, even if his name is Ronald

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By Spiritgirl, April 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Ok, so do we as a nation have the gumption to hang this bas—-d by the balls as he deserves!?  And do we as a nation have the gumption to make the list of others (both Democrats & Republicans) such as Gramm that have sold out this nation, for the endgame of personal benefit?  I think I might have more respect (for Republicans & Democrats) if they would just stop pretending both to the American people and themselves that the lies used to justify these egregious policies they have instituted were really benefiting the average American!

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By Folktruther, April 16, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

psicko, felicity—good research.

We will get nowhere hanging a particular scumbag up by his balls.  The American power system has become increasingly corrupt and must be replaced if the interests of the American people are to be promoted.

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By mike turner, April 16, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment


you miss my point…..liberals, pacifists, whatever perjorative you wish to use at least maintain a relatively consistant ANTI-WAR position. don’t mention Kennedy….he listened to the EXPERTS at the Pentagon. LBJ? well he was a CONSERVATIVE Democrat…and he stood for his principles however wrong…

A true warrior respects an opponent who has the GUTS to stand for SOMETHING.

The most cowardly thing of all is to be DESERTED by phony tough guys who wet their britches when its time to get down.

I worshipped Ronald Reagan, listened religiously to RR’s daily/weekly radio broadcasts on AM radio. Reagan swore he would NOT intervene in foreign conflicts; swore he would spend much less than Carter: swore he would end out of control illegal immigration. these were the historical foundations of the now long deceased Republican Party.

Instead Reagan did NONE of these things: his administration TOTALLY sold US out, embarking on the CREDIT CARD economics which have led American & all the countries who bought on to this garabage to the brink of the GREATEST DEPRESSION in world history. But,  boy did all the Gung ho rhetoric fire up the folks who got a chunk of the 1st many trillions $$$ deficits & fudged accounting….which GWBush & the gang blew up beyond all sanity.
An honest opponent(pick your perjorative)  beats the tar out of false tough guy anyday… least for me that is….

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By Ribald, April 16, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
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Gramm is just one of many. If each member of congress were held responsible for their unethical and/or illegal actions, there would be no congress left. Anyone with an abundance of moral fiber has been systematically removed from the political arena as a threat to those who lack it.

This is the most politically efficient and personally profitable solution. Phil Gramm is an excellent example of the promotion of, for lack of a better word, evil to high office.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 16, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

For those interested, there is a book called, “Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism, by Ha-Joon Chang, that explains market economics very well.

Empires have always used protectionism in order to expand, but once they have a commanding position in the market, they hypocritically begin to preach free trade so that poorer countries won’t have the same ability to develop that they did.

A simple analogy would be gangs using guns and violence to take over new turf, but once they control it, telling others that nobody should use guns and violence the way that they did.

Once our treasury has been thoroughly looted, the dollar totally devalued, and trillions stashed in offshore accounts denominated in more stable currencies, the rich who control the United States will enact fiscal regulations and reforms so that nobody else will be able to do what they are doing.

That is what happened after the Great Depression. But the fiscal regulations and reforms were regulatory rather than Constitutional, so that they could easily be removed and the pattern could repeat, as it has. Regulatory reforms enacted by Congress can always be removed by Congress when it wants to.

It bears noting that the United States has many more poor people than rich people. But only the rich can afford to mount successful federal election campaigns, so everyone in all three branches of government is rich and represents the rich—the poor have no representation at all.

There was a slogan in Argentina when their money collapsed. They said, “Que se vayan todos!” which means, colloquially, “Throw ALL the bums out!” Unfortunately, we do not have transparent, honest elections here, nor do we have a real democracy, so we get a choice in elections of which rich person who represents the rich we want to vote for. Nobody else has any chance of winning, so the rich always win.

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By Purple Girl, April 16, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

hang him High for economic Treason before his other foot hits the bucket. This SOB penned and pushed legislation through that derailed all safeguards put in place after the last time Wall Street Screwed this Country.Greenspan should be swinging right next to him. There was no ‘Flaw’ in their logic- one need only pick up a history book about the Fall of Empires throughout history to have foreseen this inefvitable collapse. Hell Read Our Founding Documents and equate them to the socio economic situation they were Rejecting of that time- The Monarchies ‘Trickle Down’ concept.
There is Clear precedence (evidence) to have indicated that Deregulation was innately Catastrophbic to any large Society- thus they had Forethought, which indicates malice.When the law of averages puts the majority in the Middle, yet all wealth and resources are held in reserviors above who do you think will suffer? Especially when those essentials are held back- restricted- to a Trickle? That is not only Illogical, It flies directly in Conflict with the idea of a FREE market!

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By felicity, April 16, 2009 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

And the beat goes on.  Just in, turns out that for every dollar of TARP money Paulson etal tossed to the banks, we got in return 66 cents in assets. And actually that 66 cents turns out to be more like 30 cents. 

(I still haven’t figured out whether Goldman-Sachs is a subsidiary of the Executive Branch or whether the Branch is a subsidiary of Sachs. Also, I still wonder whether Paulson, a Sachs guy, when at Treasury saw an opportunity to get Lehman Bros out of the way and took it - capitalists hate competition, right?)

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By syvanen, April 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

I have one small anecdote to add. This is hearsay. A few years ago a friend of mine was on a fishing trip with a number of people that consisted of both fund raisers and contributers for the GOP. He had a casual conversation with this one guy, who had a few car dealerships, who mentioned his use of Cayman Island bank accounts to manage his warranties that he offered customers (it was understood that much of the profit on each sale was the result of these warranties, in fact, my friend used this case to warn me that those warrantees were a ripoff.)

I was somewhat appalled. Do these guys really think that using off-shore banks are not illegal? Why are they so open about it? Well if the knew that Gramm was in on the scam, then why not.

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By Emilio, April 15, 2009 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One can only hope that the current administration will vigorously persue justice for the American people.  These crooks have been shafting the American people time after time without consequence.  It’s my opinion that Ken Lay’s demise was faked by the Bush criminals so that they wouldn’t be totally exposed for their crimes against this nation.  I voted for Obama, and generally believe that he’s the best leader for this time, however, the real power behind our “democracy” will have it’s way.  The way things appear right now is that we are SCREWED.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

When you’re bigtime crime, you make sure to give the cops, the courts, and Congress a piece of the action. Of course you can’t cut them in until they’ve made their bones. That way they can’t bring you down without taking themselves down.

And you don’t need them all, just the leadership and a controlling majority. Since the rest are just as powerless as a voter the day after an election, they can oppose you, ignore you, or try to curry favor with you, as they see fit. You wanna be a crime boss, you have to know how to work the system.

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By Jim C, April 15, 2009 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

Silly boy , of course he’s not nervous , he’s a member of the club , the senate club . He knows damn good and well he and his scumbag wife can do whatever they want with no consequences . Push for deregulation that pretty much wrecks the economy for personal profit , rob , cheat , steal , no problem , your pompus ass buddys will make sure you’re safe . You’re above all of those laws and things the unwashed masses are subject to , you’re an ex sentator , you’re above all that . He knows that his good ole buddys in the senate will never allow one of their brethren to be prosecuted like the common criminal he is , after all , he was a senator , besides , they certainly wouldn’t want to set that precedent now would they ? These princes are above the fray , they’re special , just watch them , they’re members of an exclusive club . When was the last time a senator and to a lesser extent a member of congress was held to account ? Duke Cunningham is the only one that comes to mind and he was breathtakingly stupid . How much evidence did they have against Stevens ? And what happened , he walked and the prosecuters are now in big trouble , how about Delay , whats up with that ? Apparently not much , pardon me while I throw up .

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By Syd, April 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Madoff stole from the rich and gave (some) to the rich.

Gramm steals for the rich and as a result the unrich pay the difference.


THere must be a law. 
And do note -no mention in our fine newspapers!

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By Xntrk, April 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s tax day. Am I alone in being tempted to follow in the steps of the Treasury Secretary, and have a few comprehension breakdowns as I worked thru my tax program?

For the first time in a lifetime of filing and paying my taxes, I resent ‘doing my duty’. To hell with all the tax avoidance experts who run the country, let them pay their own damn bills.

I sure haven’t gotten a bailout, or a waiver of taxes owed because of my age and status as a pensioner. What ever happened to the campaign promise to stop taxing seniors living on less then 50 big ones?

I make less than 30,000, and had medical costs of 10,000. Even itemizing, I paid well over 2000 in Federal income taxes. At least Hawaii doesn’t tax your income, if it is from Soc Sec, and a defined benefit pension.

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By freedom loving american, April 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

I thought we were trying to get to the truth on this site.  Bluelori simply brings in the lies, hate and terror from loombaugh, o’reily and the American hating, freedom hating, liberty hating, republican nutjobs.  I guess the nutjobs never get tired of saying the same thing even though no one with an IQ greater than the number of teeth they have believes what they are saying. What a joke.

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By Rachelle, April 15, 2009 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Uhh, Phil! UBS is its name, not the plural. Therefore, in your first sentence, you mentioned that “the news on Tuesday that one of UBS’ super-wealthy private clients…” It should be UBS’s.

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By mill, April 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

As the lead spokesman for selfishness above all, Mr. Gramm will have a greased ride to hell when he is “called home.”  May that ride not be unreasonably delayed.

In the mean time I hope he is held without bail until criminal charges can catch up to his crimes against the American people for these many years.

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By Eric L. Prentis, April 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Phil Gramm is a one man economic terrorist who, through his Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (1999) and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, both of which he steered through Congress, has helped bring down the entire world’s economy. Gramm was a lackey for the Wall Street banking interests while in Congress and the financial elite richly rewarded his skullduggery with the UBS vice chairmanship. Phil and his wife need to convicted for their crimes and go to prison for a long time. During Gramm’s trial, we can learn about the remaining skunks in the system.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 15, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Mike Turner writes, “....who the betrayers of America really are. They are Gramm, Bush, Cheney, Rove & all the others who dodged fighting in Vietnam…”

Yeah, they’re really a bunch of draft-dodging liberals, which is why the Democrats protected them from impeachment and Obama still supports and has expanded upon their fiscal and military agendas.

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!

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By mike turner, April 15, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

The facts expose a Republican leadership, rotten to the core. While they mimic the macho/quaint cowboy credo, they sell out to the murderous land barons at the 1st chance. Moreover, they arrogantly& smuggly lie pathologically. Their control of   hiring at corporate/ cable media makes sure the public is kept in a constant state of confusion as to who the betrayers of America really are. They are Gramm, Bush, Cheney, Rove & all the others who dodged fighting in Vietnam… at a time when smart white officers were desperately needed….now these frauds get to play pretend tough guys thanks to corporate money which buys former military men eager to get a piece of the big fat take. And….boy did Bush funnel them the bucks!

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By psickmind fraud, April 15, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Bluelori, what I told you is that the CRA is STILL not responsible for this debacle.  From a quick glance, I don’t see that anything you linked has anything to do with loans made under CRA.  Most of the liars loans were not CRA loans.  The banks WANTED to make those loans, because they could take their money, package the bad paper and sell it, get it off their hands, take the money and make more liars loans. 

Gramm (not Graham) was responsible for the bills that deregulated, Rubin/Summers liked em and Clinton signed ‘em, the former head of Citigroup supposedly has one of the pens Clinton used to sign the bill mounted on his “wall of me”.

Obama is just continuing the buggering of the taxpayer by giving the financial industry the keys to the coffers.  He took over $22 mil in contributions from the financiers, McCain took over $20, we were buttf*cked with either of them.

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By bluelori, April 15, 2009 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

The crisis that could bring down obama yes sure like they will do anything to the bankers boy and about the liars loans and people who can’t afford them psickmind fraud you might want to recheck!

And see where the insurer’s money went…

On April 3rd this was posted on his site.

The life insurance industry has $214 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities, according to new data from SNL Financial, which tracks the portfolios of more than 800 life insurers. More than a third of that amount, or $86 billion, is invested in bonds rated A or less. The issuers of lower-rated bonds are more likely to default, Fitch says.

Fifteen of the top 20 life insurers had more commercial mortgage-backed securities than capital and reserves. Five of those companies held more of the riskier bonds, the ones rated A or less. They were Allianz Life Insurance; Allstate Life Insurance; Manulife’s John Hancock Life Insurance; Genworth Life Insurance, part of Genworth Financial(GNW Quote - Cramer on GNW - Stock Picks); and Hartford Life Insurance, a unit of Hartford Financial Services(HIG Quote - Cramer on HIG - Stock Picks).

Allianz Life Insurance, which holds three times more of the lower-rated securities than capital and reserves, might be the most vulnerable. The company had $2.1 billion of capital and reserves and $6.9 billion of the less-desirable issues at year end.

Prudential Insurance Company of America, the largest insurance unit of Prudential Financial(PRU Quote - Cramer on PRU - Stock Picks), is the largest holder of commercial mortgage-backed securities with $11.7 billion but almost all of that amount is invested in AA-rated or AAA-rated bonds.
<>1 2Next >

Today if you go to check you will see a correction has been issued and my suspicious mind being what it is I noticed no numbers in the correction leaving me to wonder if someone brought this to the attention of Allianz and they threatened suit, or if Cramer is involved in a cover up of $4.8 billion of less desirable issues or lastly if he just gives Bad Advice.  I know Allianz has had more than its seemingly deserved share of lawsuits stemming from Consumer Fraud as Attorney Generals and Attorneys across the nation have sued them and they have been Spanked (slightly in my opinion based on the sheer number and Fraudulent practices used by Allianz and the Licensed Security Investment Brokers they employ to sell their products) so it makes me wonder did Allianz come up with $4.8 billion in 4 days to cover their bad assets, did they threaten Jim Cramer and The Street?  I would like to see the data myself.

Correction Issued;

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By california dreamer, April 15, 2009 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

At some point the Gramms and their ilk will have to be held accountable.  The good old boys network is starting to show some strain.  These guys could get away with a lot of things as long as the American people were getting the crumbs, but the party’s now over and the crumbs have dried up.  So, it now is time for the pitchforks and tar and feathers.  However, the network includes maybe too many connections.  It seems clear to me the Obama has become ensnarled in the net in that he has given his ear to Summers who is connected to Rubin who connects to Clinton who is connected to Gramm.  So maybe nothing happens.  But the American people now know and they won’t forget.

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By psickmind fraud, April 15, 2009 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Ummm….bluelori, you might want to check stuff instead of just believing what you read
” According to the Federal Reserve Board, in 2006 only 6 percent of the subprime problematic loans were to low- to moderate-income borrowers and covered under CRA.  Stated otherwise, almost 95 percent of the reckless and irresponsible loans that formed the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis had nothing to do with CRA lending to low- to moderate-income households.  Contrary to Mr. Gramm’s assertion, therefore, that CRA promotes “loose underwriting” and “marginal loans,” the fact remains that a broader application of CRA to independent mortgage companies would have averted much—if not most—of the damage inflicted on the housing and credit markets and overall economy.”

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By Chet Roman, April 15, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“graham didn’t pass it clinton did and they forced the banks to loan to people who were not credit worthy”
Yes, Clinton is responsible for signing the bill but Gramm inserted the provisions that helped cause the crisis.
The right-wing lie that banks were forced to non-credit worthy people also caused this crisis does not hold up to scrutiny. In 2006 IndyMac all by itself was responsible for selling $80 billion in liar loans, IndyMac was owned by Nationwide and not required by the gov’t to loan to subprime customers. In 2006 Freddie/Fannie accounted for only 20% if subprime loans. It’s that “capitalist” sharks that saw easy money that brought this financial market to its knees. Unfortunately, many of these “capitalists” are now in the Obama administration.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 15, 2009 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

As long as Obama is in power, neither Bush nor Cheney nor any of the billionaire crooks that put them and Obama in power will be punished.

Oh, maybe a slap on the wrist, a small fine amounting to a millionth of what they stole, and perhaps a month doing community service for the smallest of the crooks, but no punishment for the big ones. They’re the ones running the show and they won’t punish themselves.

All they do is keep demanding that we give them more money to bail themselves out. But they’re not in the same boat with the rest of us. When we sink, they’ll be jetting off in the private planes to their third or fourth mansions where they have their billions in offshore assets stashed. And from there, they’ll be buying up everything in sight here for pennies on the dollar, so they’ll own even more.

And even here on TruthDig we’ve got trolls, political party operatives, disinformation agents, and dupes posting comments claiming that Obama is going to save us. He’s going to save his rich cronies like Bush, Cheney, Gramm, and Summers, but he cares more about his new dog than he does about us.

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By Grousefeather, April 15, 2009 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
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The answer to the onslaught of greed that has poisoned our culture and devastated our economy over the past 30 or so years is to retroactively confiscate all the ill gotten gains squirreled away in secret foreign tax havens by the wealthy tax dodgers. We need to break the hold the corporate elites have over our political system by outlawing campaign contributions and other forms of bribery that have so corrupted our political system. Free enterprise and economic democracy will flourish only after the corporate monopolies are busted and the international conglomerates are destroyed. Business exists to serve the people, not the other way around.

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By bluelori, April 15, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

graham didn’t pass it clinton did and they forced the banks to loan to people who were not credit worthy as part of their everyone deserves a home whether they can pay for it or not scheme!

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By freedom loving american, April 15, 2009 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

Gramm passed the banking deregulation bill in December 1999.  So the rich after creating the tech bubble went back into real estate.  Creating the CDS,CDO complex pieces of shit that apparently nobody understands, (other than they made the filthy rich insanely rich).  Greenspan kept raising the rates to cause a few of those poor smucks with arms loans to default.  That was all it took so those that had caused the housing rates to skyrocket bet billions it would drop and the billions were leveraged many times, henceforth trillions.  Dan Aykroyd and Eddy Murphy did hate same thing in “trading places”, not real hard to figure out. It is all so sad that the republican owned MSM reports none of this. 

This American hating, liberty hating freedom, hating financial, terrorist, should spend the rest of his life in prison at Guantanamo Bay or a worse prison. 

But do not worry this is America the land owned by republicans that stole the wealth from our grandfathers.  Republicans are never punished in America.

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By samosamo, April 15, 2009 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

I bet old gramm and milton friedman were suck buddies from way back. Probably the only way gramm could even kinda grasp the ideas to further friedman’s ‘unfettered economics’ that have turned the world upside down. And to think of the people that still think that is the best economic system does nothing less than expose them for the financial terrorists that they are. Obama needs to come around to that reality that those responsible are the real terrorists and that the terrorists of the ‘war on terror’ are the diversion to keep all eyes off of the real culprits. If gramm were to drown while being tarred and feathered it would not make me feel bad at all considering his part in this disaster and the results it has brought on untold billions of people just for some wickedly evil people like gramm and anyothers that benefit have done.

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By Mike789, April 15, 2009 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Glad to see the Feds are cracking down on this behavior. Read somewhere that 1.8 Trillion is shuffled to so-called overseas shelters. That equates to 100 billion in actual tax revenue funneled away. This is done in the face of a tax cut for the wealthy, esp. the ludicrous 15% rate exacted to hedge fund managers! Some guy is out there in Iraq or Afganistan in 120 degree heat packing 40 lbs and a piece for these creeps who are the first to cry over taxes and put to the question patriotism in the same breathe. Andrew Carnegie may have been a moneyed baron, however, he walked the walk when he said, “Wealth is responsibility.” When you are enabled by free enterprise to rise to the top of the pyramid, all the works, ideas, concepts, viz knowledge base below you are inveterately complexed with your success.

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By artie, April 15, 2009 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
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Phil, Wendy, Rubin, Greenspan, Bernanke, Greenberg, Goldman, Sachs, etc- all swindlers and of the power elite , who are enriching themselves at the expense of the masses and their children. Obama is owned by Wall Street. It’s obvious.

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By tp, April 15, 2009 at 6:18 am Link to this comment
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If you want to succeed in this wonderful country of ours, you have to study hard at deceiving the general public and ways to change the laws to benefit you and your aristocratic crook friends. MP Morgan Mafia members do well.
Phil Graham slithers in the shoes of Benedict Arnold in our on going battle against the money lenders. Our 1776 revolutionary war did not end with army invasions. The banks of the Rothschild kept invading until in 1913 when they succeeded in taking over our money creating through JP Morgan (an agent of The Rothschild bankers of England 300 years running). The Feds was created in the image of a government sanctioned private counterfeiter.
Now, after almost 100 years with our country running under private bankster puppet management, it is crystal clear where Grahams’ loyalties have always been rooted.
JP Morgan once said something to the affect of, “I care not what the laws are if I control the money”.
What can we do?
It seems that broadcasting the truth doesn’t help.

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By bluelori, April 15, 2009 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Agree prgp and clinton who signed the fatal legislation and who now admits the disaster he created along with them and lets not forget obama is one of the miscreants who is nothing more than a bank shill and a fascist!

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By Lori, April 15, 2009 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
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Yes they should be in jail prgp and clinton should go with them for signing the fatal legislation he now even admits was the root of it all and facist obama who is nothing more than a shill for the banks too!

obama policy=no banker left behind

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By AS, April 15, 2009 at 5:51 am Link to this comment
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I am a recently retired academic physician, who has never made much money, and to my detriment, I have never paid any attention to my meager pension funds! For better or worse, I have always loved Medicine, and I have strongly believed that to be a profession close, if not identical, to a sacred calling, rather than a money grabbing business!

Needless to say, during almost 40 years of my work, I have never had any problems with IRS. This year IRS has sent to me an elaborate “research” of my 2007 tax return, that “proves,” what has best been described by a New York Times reader (who has apparently shared my experience), whose comment said:

“I retired in 2007 and since then I have been living beyond my means on my teachers’ pension. Today I received a thick envelope from the IRS and I had a feeling a thin one would have been better.
The people you describe in your column could have used my entire income in 2007 to line a birdcage, and they never would have missed a dollar of it, but the IRS wants me to pay two months of my current income in taxes they claim I owe for 2007. I have never received a bill for unpaid taxes in my life and I do not know why I got this one, but here’s something else.
I taught English in a Middle School in New York State where the scores in Math and English on the NCLB were very low. In American Idol terms, we were in the bottom three in the county most every year, but before I retired, the ELA-8 scores for my students were #1 in the county. And even though the NCLB Act requires a passing score, and no more, I had 14% of my eighth graders earn 90% or above, in a district which did not provide any honors sections. I taught every student in the grade.
And I loved doing it. I did a great job, but no teacher ever got a bonus, and now my government wants two months of my pension to bail out millionaires.
Evidently teachers cant afford to retire in America.
But dont get me wrong. In the words of the late, great Bob Marley…When the rain falls, it dont fall on one man’s house…
A lot of people have worked harder than I ever did, earned far less money, and certainly experienced less joy as they toiled each day. And millions of them cant afford to retire either.
My job search begins tomorrow.
— kathleen, san juan”
RecommendedRecommended by 173 NYT Readers

Need I say more? Mr.& Mrs. Gramm, have you no shame, have you no decency?

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By everynobody, April 15, 2009 at 5:39 am Link to this comment
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By thebeerdoctor, April 15 at 7:12 am #


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By PRGP, April 15, 2009 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

These miscreants, including Geithner and Summers, should be in jail, not cavorting around in public thumbing their noses at the middle class.  Obama is in danger of losing his credibility on financial matters by allowing this garbage to go unpunished.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 15, 2009 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

Despite the scalding expose on these two toads (former Senator Gramm and his wife, Wendy) I find it hard to believe that any harsh punishment will come to them. Strange is it not? that the mentality that pushed for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, still finds a sprouting seed in the form of President Obama’s top economic advisor, Lawrence Summers.
Why do I get the feeling that these are examples of folks I have often heard about: the ones who are able to walk between the raindrops.

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By dsmith, April 15, 2009 at 4:02 am Link to this comment
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If charges were filed against Graham I would hold my arms up and scream like a Sunday morning tele-vangelist…“Hal-ler-loo-yah!”

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By plan9, April 15, 2009 at 1:47 am Link to this comment
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Aside from all this my favorite Phil Gramm “I got more guns than I need but not as many as I want” gig was his stint as a dead peasant insurance salesman. Good old Mr. Potato Head worked a scam to take out life insurance policies on teachers without their knowledge. Except for being illegal, creepy and disgusting it was a great idea. Up next for Phil and Wendy-O; grave robbing.

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