Enron and UBS Lobbyist is McCain's Economic Advisor

For a Presidential candidate whose own allies say a McCain presidency would be another Bush economic term (oh, doesn't that fill the country with glee...), the further exposure of self-serving, curmudgeonly Phil Gramm as McCain's main economics guru is timely. The YouTube is from last night's Countdown report on Gramm's lobbying activities for banking giant UBS -- if you missed it, it's worth a watch.

But who exactly is Phil Gramm? Let's take a peek:

According to the lobbyist filing records MSNBC produced in its report, Phil Gramm has taken McCain's "Charlie Black Sweet Talk Expressway bus" to Lobbying Town all the way to the bank...literally.

Gramm only stopped lobbying for international banking giant UBS officially on April 18, 2008, well after McCain clinched the GOP nod -- but also well after Gramm had written and shaped the McCain campaign's banking policies in response to the subprime mortgage crisis...in which UBS is also embroiled, and for whom Gramm continues to be employed as a UBS vice chairman regarding investment banking. Yes, you read that correctly.

Who is UBS, exactly, that they have now restricted their international banking staff from traveling to the US during their pending SEC investigation? And why are they in legal trouble for allegedly running a tax-evasion arm out of their US branch? Josh has some background, including this link on McCain's speech on banking policy fully a month before Gramm quit lobbying for UBS. Funny how that speech calls for banking folks to decide how to handle things amongst themselves rather than tightening regulation -- wonder whose idea that was? Things that make you go "hmmmmm," indeed. Hilzoy has a good thumbnail sketch.


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