by Linda Beale
Former Sen. Gramm retires from UBS
Let’s see. Gramm pushed through the Commodities modernization act in Dec 2000–the thousand pages that nobody read but that made sure that credit default swaps (CDS) stayed unregulated. CDC then went on to form one of the pillars of the financialization of the economy–as they mushroom from a few billion in 2000 to about 70 trillion in 2007–all a castle of cards built on a foundation of sand and tangling the world’s too-big-to-fail banks in a web of speculative bets and what looked like easy-money guarantees. Then it all came tumbling down with the realization that the huge mortgage loan securitization industry and the CDOs, CDO-squared, and CDO-cubed transactions were filled mostly with hot air.
When Gramm left the Senate, he went in 2003 to UBS, a bank whose profits built on speculation and gambling with other people’s money he had made much cushier with the commodities modernization act . The proverbial swinging door swung nicely for Gramm. He was a vice chairman and “senior adviser to investment-banking clients” and “worked with governments around the world on behalf of UBS”. Wall Street Journal, Feb. 11, 2012, at B13. The “Who’s News” note says tht Gramm “helped build the UBS Office of Public Policy in Washington.” In other words, in addition to schmoozing with bank execs and wealthy clients, Gramm was a lobbyist working his old pals in DC on behalf of the bank.
Guess the bank must have been disappointed when he wasn’t able to get them out of the mess their greedy tax evasion business got them into. Hmmm. That does make one wonder just how much Gramm knew about UBS’s business of pushing secret accounts that the IRS couldn’t trace, smuggling diamonds in toothpaste tubes, and generally doing whatever necessary to make loads of money by helping US taxpayers avoid their tax liability under US tax laws?
PS In a “serves it right” result, UBS reported a fourth quarter net profit decline of 76%…..
crossposted with ataxingmatter