"Phil ‘mental recession’ Gramm attempts to resuscitate his reputation."
This month, Time released a list of the top 25 people to blame for the financial crisis. Second on the list (and leading its readers’ poll) is former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX). Gramm advised Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) during the presidential campaign, famously referring to America as a “nation of whiners” in a “mental recession.” In the 90s, he also played an instrumental role in deregulating the financial sector. Today, Gramm has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal denying that the deregulation he promoted had anything to do with the financial crisis. Gramm relied on a series of tired conservative tropes — like blaming the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — in an attempt to exonerate himself from well-deserved culpability. The Wonk Room has more.