Until recently, former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm was well hidden from public view, safely conducting his business out of the public eye.
First, we learn that Gramm was instrumental in deregulating the banking industry, actions that fostered the current credit crunch and mortgage meltdown. Then we learn he has close ties to UBS, the giant Swiss bank that has reported major losses in—yes!—the mortgage market.
Now, Gramm's shot off his mouth to the detriment of his pal John McCain, who's quickly moved to separate himself from Gramm's most recent economic pronouncements, which we quote below:
"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," Gramm said. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."
"We have sort of become a nation of whiners," Gramm said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."