Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

McCain, Phil Gramm and UBS

Citing business practices that allow wealthy Americans to commit tax evasion by manipulating bank secrecy laws, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) today called for the revocation of the banking license of Swiss bank UBS.

"I don't think that any bank that goes to the extent that UBS has gone through to avoid doing what their agreements with the United States require them to do, should be allowed to continue to do business unless they clean up their act," Levin said.

UBS's role in arranging "undeclared" accounts for an estimated 19,000 US citizens was one focus of a hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Levin today.


Levin said UBS practices resulted in its U.S. clients maintaining undeclared Swiss accounts that collectively held "$18 billion dollars in assets that have been kept secret from the the IRS."
Enter John McCain's senior economic advisor Phil Gramm, who recently had this to say about the American economy and those who aren't happy with the status quo:
"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners," he said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline" despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.

Phil Gramm is Vice-Chairman of UBS bank, a role that has allowed him to lobby on behalf of banks and predatory lenders at the expense of you and me. Phil Gramm is Vice-Chairman of the bank Senator Carl Levin is accusing of helping wealthy Americans shirk their legal financial obligations. In other words, a foreign bank is manipulating the U.S. system and taking us for all we're worth. It's economic warfare and the rich are getting richer, thanks to John McCain's economic advisor, Phil Gramm.

But you see, John McCain is no stranger to scandal involving financial institutions. McCain was one of the "Keating 5", involved in the savings and loan scandal of the late 1980's.
It all started in March 1987. Charles H Keating Jr., the flamboyant developer and anti-porn crusader, needed help. The government was poised to seize Lincoln Savings and Loan, a freewheeling subsidiary of Keating's American Continental Corp.

As federal auditors examined Lincoln, Keating was not content to wait and hope for the best. He had spread a lot of money around Washington, and it was time to call in his chits.


Keating was no ordinary constituent to McCain.

On Oct. 8, 1989, The Arizona Republic revealed that McCain's wife and her father had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators.

The paper also reported that the McCains, sometimes accompanied by their daughter and baby-sitter, had made at least nine trips at Keating's expense, sometimes aboard the American Continental jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating's opulent Bahamas retreat at Cat Cay.

McCain also did not pay Keating for some of the trips until years after they were taken, after he learned that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln. Total cost: $13,433.
With the economy the way it is, do you really think you can trust John McCain and Phil Gramm to do what's right for you and your family? After all, they've proven time and time again whose side they're on. And it isn't yours.


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