PDF of the magazine this ad references.
He may be dead, but he sure manages to describe the current crisis:
The financial crisis that began in the United States spread to many corners of the globe. Now, the American bailout looks as if it is going global, too, a move that could raise its cost and intensify scrutiny by Congress and critics.
Foreign banks, which were initially excluded from the plan, lobbied successfully over the weekend to be able to sell the toxic American mortgage debt owned by their American units to the Treasury, getting the same treatment as United States banks.
On Sunday, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., indicated in a series of appearances on morning talk shows that an original proposal introduced on Saturday had been widened. “It’s a distinction without a difference whether it’s a foreign or a U.S. one,” he said in an interview with Fox News.
The prospect of being locked out of the bailout set off alarm bells among chief executives of overseas banks whose American affiliates also hold distressed mortgage-related assets, like Barclays and UBS. The original text provided access to the $700 billion bailout for any financial institution based in the United States.
As the day wore on, some raised their concerns with the Treasury Department, arguing that foreign institutions were both big employers and major players in the American capital markets. By Saturday evening, the language had been changed to allow any financial institution “having significant operations” in the United States.
Okay, let’s follow the money a little bit. First, Why is UBS in this list? Well….
Former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm has emerged as the key behind-the-scenes economics/Wall Street guy for John McCain and is being touted as the treasury secretary in waiting. Since 2002, Gramm has been an executive with the U.S. operations of UBS, the giant Swiss Bank. An unintentionally hilarious interview with Gramm on the Wall Street Journal editorial page last week asserted that Gramm has “been a key instigator of some of the biggest money-making UBS deals of recent years.”
So, who is Gramm?
McCain counts Gramm as one of his top economic advisers. Gramm advocates tax cuts, supply-side economics and less government regulation.
Ah, that Gramm! The one who claimed the recession was all in our heads, and we should stop whining!
On Gramm’s watch, UBS became so enmeshed in financial folly it’s laying off more than 5,000 workers. Somewhere below him, employees file out, clutching pink slips that to Gramm are merely pink elephants for a nation drunk on worry.
And Gramm helped make it all possible. Not by himself, of course. The financial crisis is so large that blame abounds. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the policy decisions of the past decade.
As a senator, Gramm championed two pieces of legislation that, more than any others, enabled the crisis.
First, he got top billing on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the 1999 law that eliminated the Depression-era restrictions preventing banks from owning securities and insurance firms.
As such, Gramm played waterboy for Sandy Weill, then head of the insurer Travelers Group, who needed legal legitimacy for his purchase of Citibank a year earlier.
And you know who else he met while he was working with the McCain team?
Senator John McCain’s campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say.
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Just as the rest of the financial community was scrambling to get its money out, a state-owned German lender gave Lehman Brothers what might be called a parting shot in the arm, transferring €300 million to the investment bank on the same day it declared insolvency.
The $426 million payment, described by the bank as an “automated transfer,” provoked an outcry across the political spectrum, and earned the lender, KfW Bankengruppe, the dubious title of “Germany’s dumbest bank,” which the largest-circulation German newspaper, Bild, splashed across its front page Thursday.
The two management board members at KfW development bank, Peter Fleischer and Detlef Leinberger, were suspended with immediate effect until the incident is resolved, the German economy and finance ministers said in a joint statement. A lower-ranking department head responsible for risk control also was suspended, the statement said.
Obama has stepped up and stated what he needs a bailout plan to include in order to support it, and the Paulson plan simply can’t meet his requirements. Obama has just announced his opposition to the basic principles of the Paulson Plan.
No Blank Check: Paulson doesn’t get money without oversight or legal responsibility.
Must Be Regulatory Changes: The practices that caused the crisis have to be ended at the same time.
Taxpayers Need More than Consideration: If a huge bailout is to occur, it has to be done in the way that costs taxpayers the least possible.
No Bailout For Foreign Banks From US Money: Instead, all countries should work together to help everyone.
Ordinary People Get Help Too: It can’t just be a bailout for Hank’s friends, it has to help ordinary Americans too.
That’s odd… I thought this was made illegal by the financial crisis…