DMI Blog

Mark Winston Griffith

Phil Gramm, Predatory Deregulator

It's hard to imagine it, but had Phil Gramm not been ridiculously tone-deaf enough to call people fearing the economic crisis" whiners" – and had John McCain not gotten his clock cleaned by Obama – Gramm could have very well been the next Treasury Secretary. Or some other Cabinet level position that would have given Gramm a frightening amount of power over fiscal policy.

In an article it today's New York Times, after documenting that Gramm "led the effort to block measures curtailing deceptive and predatory lending" and "pushed through a provision that ensured virtually no regulation of the complex financial instruments known as derivatives, including credit swaps," the article quotes Gramm as blaming "predatory borrowers" for the nation's economic meltdown.

What a creature. This is a cautionary tale, a clear example of when conservative ideological inbreeding reaches a tipping point.

Not only do Gramm's statements in the Times spit in the face of everything we now know about the subprime mortgage crisis, but the "logic" he employs is recklesly flawed. In the article Gramm sites the fact that his mother once successfully paid back a high cost mortgage as conclusive evidence that subprime lending has delivered the American dream. Maybe someone should remind Mr. Gramm that we've seen a net loss of homeownership in the mortgage era dominated by subprime lending.

If that's an American dream, please wake me up.

Mark Winston Griffith: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 4:08 PM, Nov 17, 2008 in Economic Opportunity
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