The New York Times reports this evening that “foreign banks, which were initially excluded from the [Wall Street bailout] plan, lobbied successfully over the weekend to be able to sell the toxic American mortgage debt owned by their American units to the Treasury, getting the same treatment as United States banks.”
The Times further reports that two of the biggest foreign banks in need of such relief are Barclays and UBS. In fact, my understanding is that UBS is more on the line here than any other foreign bank.
Let’s add this up.
John McCain’s top economics advisor, who is widely believed to be his choice for Treasury Secretary, should he win in November, is former Sen. Phil Gramm. (Indeed, just last night his spokesman refused to say Gramm wouldn’t be McCain’s choice for Treasury Secretary.)
Gramm is both vice chairman of UBS’s US division and a lobbyist for UBS.
If UBS successfully lobbied over the weekend to get in on the bailout, what was Gramm’s role in the lobbying?