Privatizing Profits, Socializing Losses

• In the early 80s, republicans, with the help of John McCain, Alan Greenspan, and Phil Gramm, deregulated the S&L industry, resulting in the collapse of 747 S&Ls and a loss to taxpayers of $1.4 trillion.

• The republicans delayed the S&L bailout until after the 1988 election of George HW Bush. If they had addressed the problem earlier, it would have cost $20 billion.

• In 2000, Phil Gramm, supported by Greenspan, slipped the Commodities Futures Modernization Act into the budget, which prohibited the SEC and the CFTC any oversight of new financial instruments called credit swaps. This led to America’s greatest financial disaster since the Great Depression.

• Gramm also included provisions that prevented regulation of energy trading markets, which led to the Enron collapse.

• Republicans want the government to stay out of business until the fallout of their greed requires a bailout.

A Nation of Village Idiots