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October 14th, 2008
01:43 PM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #7 Phil Gramm


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So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#7 on our list: Former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm. CNN's Tom Foreman reports

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. janene

    October 15th, 2008 11:40 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    REp Barney FRank said he did not see anything wrong with Fannie and Freddie.
    Rep Maxine Waters We do not have a crisis with fannie and freddie.
    Rep Gregory Meeks pissed of for the possible reform of GNC , nothing
    is wrong with freddie and fannie.
    Rep. Arthur Davis – You are making a bad judgment on Fannie and Freddie.
    Rep. Royce a Republican hoped to move swiftly to reform Freddie and Fannie he goes on to say CONGRESS MUST CREATE OVERSITES ON FANNIE AND FREDDIE. SO I CALL ON MR COOPER TO ADD ALL THOSE DEMOCRATS TO THE LIST !!!

    October 15, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  2. John

    Please put Barney Frank on this list. If you miss that, you'll lose a reader for life.

    His commitment to getting everyone a home is admirable in theory, but incredibly flawed logic. Find his quotes from a few years ago regarding his thoughts on the health of Fannie and Freddie, which he directly impacted, and you'll have headline zingers for weeks.

    October 15, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  3. Madrep

    Let's see, Obama and ACORN are linked. Hmm, then we blame the Bush administration for everything. I have said this before, it doesn't matter what political party is in office, they are all crooks. Reagan sold the 401K to the American people and then corporate America eliminated pensions becasue we all were making so much money in the market. Round and round we go.

    October 15, 2008 at 12:09 pm |
  4. steve

    I'm pleased to see that AC 360 placed Phil "sleaze ball" Gramm on the list. Gramm should actually be public enemy #1 on this list.

    - Gramm pushed through the illegal waiver for Citi to buy the Traveler's in 1995
    - Gramm pushed through the illegal waiver for BOA to buy Fleet in 1995
    - Gramm was deregulating the banks before congress ratified his bill in 1999.
    - Gramm pushed to have derivatives and CDS's to remain unregulated – that is the biggest reason we're in this jam.
    - Gramm is a major bank lobbyist – as well as Vice Chairman of UBS
    - Gramm had close ties to Keating during the S & L crisis and some say Gramm should have gone to prison.

    Gramm was THE SENIOR economic advisor for McCain – and still is in behind the scenes truth.

    Gramm will be McCain's pick for Treasury Secretary if elected – that should scare the hell out of all Americans.

    Even the far right realizes Gramm is a menace to our nation.

    October 15, 2008 at 11:59 am |
  5. Peggy

    Phil Gramm????

    Frank, Dodd, Carter, ACORN (Obama) had better be on this list.

    October 15, 2008 at 11:51 am |
  6. Richard

    The lending to low-income borrowers is really just a tiny, tiny fraction of the overall picture. There are an equal number of middle and upper income borrowers who took loans for MacMansions and in balloning urban markets way beyond the values that also make up the base of bad and subprime loans.

    Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are a part of this crisis, however, low income borrowers are just a small fraction and by themselves would never have brought this melt-down to our doorstep. It was the creation of the risky commercial subprime loans, fueled by a $531 trillion dollar derivatives market that blew the house of cards over.

    Try as you will to make partisan politics and spin this debate in favor of your candidates but if you do then you will really miss the important lessons we need to learn to get a healthy economy back on track.

    October 15, 2008 at 11:44 am |
  7. Jack Walden

    I hope the list includes Alan Greenspan and Bob Rubin. Washington Post has a timely expose on the role of these two in the collapse.

    October 15, 2008 at 11:30 am |
  8. Greg C

    They need to begin this list with Jimmy Carter and work their way up to today. The Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act forced banks to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, mostly in minority areas. Can't wait to see what other Republican CNN adds to the list. What I really want to know is when are the hearings going to start? They won't with Pelosi and Reid and surely with Obama if he wins the election.

    October 14, 2008 at 8:21 pm |
  9. Freedom of Speech

    Isn't he linked to McCain's Campaign?

    October 14, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  10. U.S. Citizen

    I commend Anderson Cooper for his efforts since I agree it is important to determine blame.

    Gramm is a primary culprit. He could be considered the architect with his introduction of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley and the Commodities Future Modernization Act (how Orwellian). These laws allowed commercial and investment banks to consolidate and eliminated regulation on commodity futures.

    There should be some acknowledgment that President Clinton signed them and Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers may have helped negotiate them. These laws were just a continuation of major degregulation and reversal of The New Deal protections which began in earnest with President Reagan. Remember, the precursor to this crisis–collapse of the s & l's. Maybe the spirit of Ronald Reagan should be included.

    Although he broke no laws, McCain's support of Charles Keating's deregulation and his interference with the oversight regarding the s & l's deserve honorable mention. I also believe the industry received pretty good payback for the $740,000 they contributed to Barney Frank's campaign in 2005-2006 before he became chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

    October 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  11. Molly B.

    You are up to 7? Who are 1 through 6?

    October 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  12. Chuck

    The reason our economy is volitale is because we have believed in a falsely inflated Bush economy which centered on our precious real estate market. Using [ as a bargaining chip ] the fact that people want homes no matter what they cost. Now after all the greedy have made a plethera of money the market drops out just as we are about to elect a respectable democratic president who will not continue Bushonomics. America wake up to reality !

    October 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  13. Larry

    Is this list going from least culpable (10) to most (1) or the other direction?

    Like Matt says; Fanny & Freddie got a whole lotta $$ to be bailed out, so now Barney, Chris, Nancy, Barack can maintain their lifestyles.

    Dunno why we keep giving $$ to ACORN.

    Maybe Barack's campaign finance chair, Penny Pritzker, creator of the subprime mortgage will be interviewed by CNN.

    October 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  14. Dave

    we better see Clinton and Greenspan of this list is not credible

    October 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  15. John in seattle

    #1 is Barney Frank

    October 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  16. Douglas L. Sakiestewa

    There will be many culprits, so view the entire scene as a panorama. Who is at the top of the political level, the U.S. Congress, CEOs, staff, corporations, investors, vrious funds, marketing managers, State-side investment managers, special interests, and even us consumers, and all those citizens who don't care. Then we must view the systems as at fault, uncontrolled, run-a-way, too complex, too creative as to be dangerous, too gambling-like, too free, too trustworthy because my grandmother said so. Then again. I learned so much about the DowJones as a formula on sale which we bought into, while we are manipulated along with all newscasters and all TV and network stations. Maybe the news media (all radio, TV, etc.) share some blame for not telling us all the details and the truth.

    October 14, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  17. Matt

    Gramm?? Really?? Who at all is talking about Gramm in this whole mess?

    Well... we better see Barney Frank and Chris Dodd on this list too along with the Fannie and Freddie CEOs. Interesting, the coverage of the crisis (and where the blame is placed) shows you exactly where the different news outlets stand.

    October 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  18. chuck

    If Phil Gramm is at #7 then John McCain should be at #6--– Mr.Deregulator -–which gave Phil Gramm lots of room to smuggle.

    October 14, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  19. Ali Raza

    I believe Alan Greenspan name should be on the Top Ten Culprits list of Financial Mess..... Why? Because he should and must have forcasted and should have know being as top economic cop of th nation as the actions of today ( Free and Easy Credit ) and it consequences in the future...... He Ought, Must and should have known and should have been able to stop the cheap credit right in its tracks.

    October 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm |