Happy Enron Anniversary, Wendy Gramm

Happy Enron Anniversary, Wendy Gramm

Eighth anniversaries are “Bronze Anniversaries,” and there have been few events more brazen than the collapse of the Enron Corporation. It happened eight years ago, and this groundbreaking cataclysm would not have been possible without the assistance of Wendy Gramm, PhD.

As Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Dr. Gramm ended governmental oversight of energy derivatives traded by Enron and other companies. Six days after leaving government, she was named to the Enron board of directors, where she headed the Audit Committee and was paid a million or two by the rogue corporation.

Dr. Gramm’s husband, Senator Phil Gramm, sponsored the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which contained a clause making his wife’s regulatory decision law and deregulating new financial instruments such as credit swaps. This undermined the financial system and enabled oil and energy speculation. Though he says he did not add the “Enron Loophole” himself, Enron had contributed $97,000 to Senator Gramm’s political campaigns.

Enron’s leadership manipulated the market, looted the corporation, and misrepresented company assets, with the complicity of its outside accountants. Results: Collapse of the huge corporation and the accounting firm, billions in losses to investors and consumers, 30,000 Enron employees out of work with worthless retirement accounts. The resulting litigation lasted until this month.

Wendy Gramm continues to teach doctrinaire deregulation at a Virginia university; her husband works for a Swiss bank.

Happy anniversary, Dr. Gramm.

More details here, here, and here.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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3 Responses to “Happy Enron Anniversary, Wendy Gramm”

  1. Lew Foster Says:

    She and “Foreclosure Phil” are the paragons every good Republican strives for,sociopathic greed.

  2. Elizabeth Elliott Says:

    Omigod! And here I thought I was the only one paying attention to this travesty!

    I would quibble with Lew that it is a “party” matter. My take (after working as a consultant to the corporate finance community for 25 years) is that the seven deadly sins (greed, lust, envy, pride, etc.) transcend political parties. There are mind-boggling transgressions on both sides of the aisle, although I will grant that DC seems to have an inordinate number of ex-politicos feathering their own nests.

    Great job, Mike. Keep up the good work!

  3. Eric Elder Says:

    Great looking web site. I ran your article with credits on Wendy Gramm on Rightardia. Phil Gramm works for UBS AG. UBS AG recently settled with the IRS for $ 780 million for marketing tax evasion schemes in the US. So far the IRS has snagged nearly 15,000 of the tax evaders.

    Neither party is perfect, but the Republicans prefer to govern in the shadows, and do more creepy stuff than Democrats such as torture, rendition and other illegal or borderline activities. The Bush administration also did a great job of politicizing the Justice Department.

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