Emailer Z, who knows business and politics--and isn't a liberal (or even a Democrat)--writes to usefully amplify David Corn's Mother Jones piece, which blamed Sen. Phil Gramm for engineering an ill-fated non-regulation of financial services that contribuled to the sub-prime meltdown:
The non-regulation of the not banking system has been a team effort in Washington. Major financial services firms, hedge funds and private equity groups set out in the 1990s to own Washington and they have succeeded completely. 80% of banking activity used to be regulated. Today, 20% of "banking activity" falls under regulatory guidance. (See Charles Morris's The Trillion Dollar Meltdown). Capital networks own the Democratic and Republican parties. Barney Frank didn't even bother to try to get the tax on "carried interest" increased after the Ds recaptured control of Congress in 2006 ... the members understood that such a tax would make their fund-raising lives a LOT harder.
This is the part of Kevin Phillips' analysis of Washington that is exactly accurate. The power of private capital sources hasn't been as overwhelming since the days of JP Morgan. [E.A.]
Update: Maguire elaborates. ... 10:40 P.M.
Bob Wright and I discussObama's cosmopolitanism. ... 10:01 P.M.
Fitzmas in Reverse: Steve Bartin speculates on the potential Rezko Shoe. ...Update [also via Bartin]: The Chicago Sun-Times Mark Brown wonders why Rezko elected to go directly to jail rather than trying to remain free on bond:
There's a more interesting way to look at this, which paints a scenario you'd more likely see in a trial where there is some sort of mob connection.
Tony Rezko is a guy who knows a lot about a lot of people. Those people have a very serious stake in him keeping his mouth shut. Rezko is also known to be a very security-conscious guy.
I know this is going to sound overly dramatic, but it's not really that far-fetched to think Rezko may well believe he's in danger if he goes free and that by reporting to jail it's proof that he's not cooperating.
It's one way of saying, "You don't have to worry about me."