Former Texas Senator Phillip Gramm is a Democrat turned Republican. He spent much of his career advocating deregulation and tax-cuts. He is married to Wendy Gramm of the Mercatus Center and previously of Enron.
- 1 Gramm Claims Millionaire AT&T CEO "Exploited," Rails About "Bigotry Against the Successful"
- 2 Role in Financial Sector Deregulation Leading to 2008 Financial Crisis
- 3 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
- 4 Presidential campaign
- 5 Articles and resources
Gramm Claims Millionaire AT&T CEO "Exploited," Rails About "Bigotry Against the Successful"
While giving testimony before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on July 28, 2015, Gramm claimed that wealthy Americans were exploited and were victims of bigotry. Gramm was responding to a question from Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) about a proposed CEO pay ratio rule.
- "It's the one form of bigotry that is still allowed in America, and that's bigotry against the successful."
- "My friend Ed Whitacre at AT&T, if there's ever been an exploited worker… he was exploited. It was an outrage!"
Role in Financial Sector Deregulation Leading to 2008 Financial Crisis
Gramm was the chair of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee from 1995-2000. According to Time, which placed Gramm on its list of "25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis," he was "Washington's most prominent and outspoken champion of financial deregulation," "played a leading role" in repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, and "inserted a key provision into the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act that exempted over-the-counter derivatives like credit-default swaps from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission."
Gramm, as chairman of the Banking Committee, led passage of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, making changes in the banking, insurance and securities laws which Congress had kept at bay for sixty years.
In 1996, Gramm spent $20 million seeking the Republican presidential nomination, but failed.
The top contributors were:
- Service Corp International (funeral services) $52,800
- AFLAC Inc. (health insurance) $44,500
- Vinson & Elkins LLP (lawyers) $33,750
- Arthur Andersen & Col (accountants) $30,250
- Enron Corp. (natural gas) $28,250
- Anadarko Petroleum (oil and gas) $21,050
- Dean Witter (securities) $20,000
- Tenneco Inc. (natual gas) $19,750
- Sterling Software $19,250
- John L. Wortham & Sons (insurance) $18,800
Articles and resources
- Jon Schwartz, "Former GOP Sen. Phil Gramm: “It Was an Outrage” That “Exploited” AT&T CEO Got Only $75 Million at Retirement," The Intercept, July 29, 2015.
- Tomoeh Murakami Tse, "Long-Serving AT& T Chief To Leave With Huge Payout," Washington Post, April 27, 2007.
- "25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis: Phil Gramm," Time, August 2007.
- The Wall Street Fix: Mr. Weill Goes to Washington: The Long Demise of Glass-Steagall, Frontline, May 8, 2003.