Monday, September 22, 2008

Economics 101

Do not let this man anywhere near money. Really, it's that simple.

That man about to eat that baby is Phil Gramm, former Texas senator and the guy named most often as Secretary of Treasury under a McCain administration.

If you enjoyed the drama on Wall Street last week and the thoughts of adding another trillion bucks to the national debt, Phil Gramm is your guy. You might remember Phil as the sympathetic fella who called us a nation of whiners a few weeks ago. But I prefer to remember him as the architect of the three most expensive economic fuck-ups ever to hit the American taxpayer.

In the 80's Phil worked to lift regulations on the banking industry that led directly to the S&L crisis. You remember, the crisis that held you and me up for a few gazillion dollars. Of course, not everyone suffered. People like Neil Bush, brother of George, did OK when Silverado went bust. But people not so well connected? Not so much.

Then Phil turned his laser-like economic acumen toward the energy industry. As his wife, Wendy, sat on the board of Enron, Phil worked his sausage-fat fingers to the bone stripping the industry of regulations (do we detect a pattern here?) and, well, you know what happened.

When Phil once again turned his doughy visage to banking, he passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which established financial holding companies and gutted the Glass-Steagall Act, which was passed during the Depression to protect us from guys like Phil Gramm.

Phil Gramm has been responsible, more than any other single person, of transferring a great deal of wealth away from people with little to the pockets of people with a lot. That's really Phil's greatest legacy, kind of a reverse Robin Hood.

And here we are today. I wish I had a joke to wrap this up, but as always happens when Phil Gramm enters the picture, the last laugh is on us.

2 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Just think, if things work out right, this man may be Secretary of the Treasury soon and in charge of that trillion dollars. I wonder who will get it.

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