This is from the First Post, today (edited):
In 1999 John McCain's friend and now his closest economic counselor, then a senator from Texas, pushed through the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. It repealed the old Glass-Steagall Act, passed in the Great Depression, which prohibited a commercial bank from being in the investment and insurance business. President Bill Clinton cheerfully signed it into law.
A year later Gramm , chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, attached a 262-page amendment to an omnibus appropriations bill, voted on by Congress right before a recess. The amendment received no scrutiny and duly became the Commodity Futures Modernisation Act which OK-ed deregulation of investment banks, exempting most over-the-counter derivatives, credit derivatives, credit defaults and swaps from regulatory scrutiny.
Thus were born the scams that produced the debacle of Enron, a company on whose board sat Gramm's wife Wendy.
This was also the fundamental building block on which American bank failure now rests.
Gramm contributed heavily to this:
[In 2002] he became a vice-chairman of the giant Swiss bank UBS's new investment arm in the US, lobbying Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006, urging Congress to roll back strong state rules trying to crimp the predatory tactics of the subprime mortgage industry. UBS took a bath of $20bn in write-offs from bad real estate loans this year.
It gets worse:
Gramm has even been touted as a possible Treasury Secretary in a McCain administration.
Heaven help us.