Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Country First or the Pig & the Lipstick

Ever heard of The Keating Five, one of whom is a presidential candidate? This pertains to " judgement " regarding the economy.
Did you notice the part of that article where they mentioned the Savings & Loan Crisis? Good.

Let's begin with Phil Gramm and the Glass-Steagell Act

" In 1999, former Senator Phil Gramm (who is, incidentally, Senator John McCain's economic adviser and cochairs his presidential campaign) set out to completely gut the Glass-Steagall Act, and did so successfully, replacing most of its components with the new Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: allowing commercial banks, investment banks, and insurers to merge (which would have violated antitrust laws under Glass-Steagall). Sen. Gramm was the driving force behind the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, as he had received over $4.6 million from the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate donations) over the previous decade, and once the Act passed, an influx of "megamergers" took place among banks and insurance and securities companies, as if they had been eagerly awaiting the passage of Gramm's Act. "

Another good article in the same vein.

" Undoubtedly Gramm is promoting the agenda of those who subsidize him, as he has done ever since he entered politics as a servant of oil interests in his home state. He took hundreds of thousands of dollars from energy and financial interests as a congressman and then as a senator, rising to the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee, where he could really perform major favors. He is famed for slipping in an amendment desired by Enron Corp. back when his wife was on that doomed company's board. His employment by UBS, a company that recently warned some of its executives to avoid entering the United States for fear of criminal prosecution, demands fresh scrutiny of him as well as McCain. "

Also, here's an article from the NY Times which offers some historical perspective on John McCain's attempts ( highly successful in certain circles ) to be seen as a crusader against special interests.

( from page 2 )
" For years, Mr. McCain complied. At Mr. Keating’s request, he wrote several letters to regulators, introduced legislation and helped secure the nomination of a Keating associate to a banking regulatory board.

By early 1987, though, the thrift was careering toward disaster. Mr. McCain agreed to join several senators, eventually known as the Keating Five, for two private meetings with regulators to urge them to ease up. “Why didn’t I fully grasp the unusual appearance of such a meeting?” Mr. McCain later lamented in his memoir.

When Lincoln went bankrupt in 1989 — one of the biggest collapses of the savings and loan crisis, costing taxpayers $3.4 billion — the Keating Five became infamous. The scandal sent Mr. Keating to prison and ended the careers of three senators, who were rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee in 1991 for intervening. Mr. McCain, who had been a less aggressive advocate for Mr. Keating than the others, was reprimanded only for “poor judgment” and was re-elected the next year.

Some people involved think Mr. McCain got off too lightly. William Black, one of the banking regulators the senator met with, argued that Mrs. McCain’s investment with Mr. Keating created an obvious conflict of interest for her husband. (Mr. McCain had said a prenuptial agreement divided the couple’s assets.) He should not be able to “put this behind him,” Mr. Black said. “It sullied his integrity.” "

and here's a funny ad that says it's approved by Barack Obama, but I remain dubious. I like it anyway:

1 comment:

lauren said...

this is interesting. are you using it? i am constantly sleuthing for things i can use to try and persuade my dad away from mccain. it has sort of worked. he is now of the (surprisingly large) portion of the population that claim they're "not voting" because "neither of the candidates are good". hm.

in other news, i am thinking of voting for mckinney because oregon is already going blue. is that stupid?