19. Phil Gramm

Image: Salon

Gramm was the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee from 1995 to 2000 and was an outspoken advocate for financial deregulation. He assisted with the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial banks from Wall Street. Gramm also wrote key provisions in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which helped exempt credit-default swaps from regulation. His heavy hand in pushing for deregulation was directly responsible for the crash of AIG, costing the United States billions.