Former Sen. Phil Gramm, called McCain's econ brain, is co-chair of McCain's campaign. Gramm, former chair of the Senate Banking Committee opposed President Clinton's attempt to facilitate tracing of terrorist and criminal money laundering. Since leaving the Senate, the fiercely pro-deregulation Phil Gramm, had been lobbying for Swiss bank UBS this spring - weakening America's ability to track terrorist money. UBS is also currently the focus of congressional and Justice Department investigations into schemes that allegedly enabled wealthy Americans to evade income taxes by stashing their money in overseas havens, according to several law-enforcement and banking officials in both the United States and Europe (Newsweek).
Gramm lobbied for UBS through April and associate John Savercool, is still registered to lobby legislators for UBS on numerous issues, including opposing a bill cosponsored by Sen. Barack Obama that would crack down on foreign tax havens.
Making it easier for bin Laden
MSNBC: The New York Times reported that a single senator had blocked legislation that would have helped US investigators track Osama bin Laden's financial network before 9/11. It was Phil Gramm who still defended these tax havens after 9/11, whose bank was still lobbying Congress on behalf of tax havens as recently as last year. In the Senate he blocked legislation that would have enabled the Bush administration to force foreign banks into cooperating on anti-terror measures before and after 9/11.
Chris Hayes on MSNBC:
"What this reveals is really a profound contradiction at the heart of the Republican coalition. It's home to the most sort of chest-beating, self-righteous moralists about foreign policy. ... At the same time, it's a party whose agenda is run by global conglomerates that pursue dollar and profit with no regard for any kind of sense of morality. ... It blows apart this entire moralistic rationale. Senator Obama proposed divestment legislation in the Senate and ... it was blocked by a Republican senator because it would have required the government to report on what businesses have dealing with Iran ... [McCain] was unwilling to lift a single finger to make it happen."