Before it did, some reporters—in the NYT and the WSJ (“Out of Reach: The Enron Debacle Spotlights Huge Void In Financial Regulation,” Michael Schroeder and Greg Ip, Dec. 13, 2001), for example—widened their view, to address the problem of deregulation beyond the energy market. But the job of piecing together Gramm’s role in broader financial deregulation would largely fall to later reporters. Like Hart in The Texas Observer and Galbraith and Corn in Mother Jones.

All this is to say that while Gramm’s role in deregulation has not received the attention it deserves, neither has it gone away. Rather, it forms an undercurrent to the press’s effort to present the larger story of financial collapse.

And lastly, we come full circle: Another place the story has popped up again in recent days is on Mother Jones’s website, where David Corn returned to the topic September 15. He elaborated on suspicions about an ongoing connection between Gramm and McCain:

Gramm is responsible for the rise of the wild and wooly $62 trillion swaps market. And he was chairman of the McCain campaign and a top economic adviser for McCain—until he dismissed Americans worried about the economy as ‘whiners.’ After that comment, McCain dumped Gramm. But was Gramm truly excommunicated from McCain land?

This is pretty much a rhetorical question. And to back up his point, Corn goes on to offer evidence that Gramm appears to be “back in the good graces of the McCain campaign.”

All the more reason why the press needs to keep Gramm in its sights.

Elinore Longobardi is a Fellow and staff writer of The Audit, the business-press section of Columbia Journalism Review.