“When I am on Wall Street and I realize that that’s the very nerve center of American capitalism and I realize what capitalism has done for the working people of America, to me that’s a holy place.”
“This is part of this myth of deregulation. By and large, credit-default swaps have distributed the risks. They didn’t create it. The only reason people have focused on them is that some politicians don’t know a credit-default swap from a turnip.”
“They are saying there was 15 years of massive deregulation and that’s what caused the problem. I just don’t see any evidence of it.”
– Texan Swiss banker and former Senator Phil Gramm, quoted by Eric Lipton and Stephen Labaton (with Griff Palmer) in “The Reckoning: Deregulator Looks Back, Unswayed,” New York Times, November 16, 2008.
Beatification Hearing of Saint Phil
Actor Causae: Peter G. Fitzgerald, former Republican senator from Illinois.
Enduring Faith: “He is a true dyed-in-the-wool free-market guy. He is very much a purist, an idealist, as he has a set of principles and he has never abandoned them.”
Martyrdom: “This notion of blaming the economic collapse on Phil Gramm is absurd to me.”
Advocatus Diaboli: Margot Saunders, National Consumer Law Center.
Stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry (Samuel 15:23): “He wouldn’t listen to reason. He would not allow himself to be persuaded that the free market would not be working.”
Advocatus Diaboli: SEC Chairman Christopher Cox.
By their works ye shall know them (Matthew 7:16): “The virtually unregulated over-the-counter market in credit-default swaps has played a significant role in the credit crisis, including the now $167 billion taxpayer rescue of A.I.G.”
Advocatus Diaboli: Professor Frank Partnoy, University of San Diego Law School.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light (John 3:20); By their works ye shall know them (Matthew 7:16): “No one, including regulators, could get an accurate picture of this market. The consequences of that is that it left us in the dark for the last eight years.” And, he added, “Bad things happen when it’s dark.”
Posito uno oppositorum negatur alterum.
One of two opposite positions being affirmed, the other is denied.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. Click, and sin no more.