Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who's to blame for the economy?

This question titles a USA Today (12/17/2008) editorial in which various culprits are identified and discussed. This blog did a little of that earlier, motivated by a WSJ op-ed. It is nice to see this type of analysis continuing as it will for some time, no doubt.

But, here is the USA Today list.
  • Investment bankers - one example is Fuld of Lehman Bros who took in $480M while helping to drive his bank, and the economy, into the ground. There are many others, see the list below beginning with Grasso.
  • Alan Greenspan - he spiked the bowl, plus his take on derivatives is very troublesome.
  • Rating agencies - yes, drank the "Kool-Aid" and led us to perdition.
  • Predatory lenders - the lack of oversight is abhorrent, yet how much of this was out and out malfeasance?
  • Clueless borrowers - the American dream in action.
  • Congress - allowed Freddie and Fannie to err big time and the big guys to pad their enormous pockets.
  • George W. Bush - ...
  • Bill Clinton - took away the Glass-Steagall Act, ...
  • Regulators - asleep at the wheel, in short.
One can easily add a few more to the list, such as Grasso, Weill, Bernanke, ..., which would be an interminable list, almost.

Too, how many made-offs are there yet to uncover?


04/01/2011 -- The last man wants the old days back.

11/04/2010 -- Big Ben is still putting us at risk and trashing the savers.

08/21/2010 -- Those at fault (we don't hear about this anymore), were they just claiming their 'royal' rights?

09/15/2009 -- Lessons, one year after Lehman. Also, Time on culprits.

09/09/2009 -- Alan's reign will be looked at, in time.

08/18/2009 -- As promised, FEDaerated is here.

08/17/2009 -- Books on the credit crunch. This crunch involved "macroeconomic imbalances, greedy and incompetent bankers, and fraudulent American homebuyers."

07/31/2009 -- Let's see, 5,000 got over $1M for services rendered. Well, that's probably a sign of being a best-and-brightest, at least to certain eyes; it's called rolling-in-the-dough.

Now, this can be used to illustrate how the game it to fill the pockets of a small set to an exorbitant amount. Does the game need to be that way? Hell no. We'll look at that some more.

03/25/2009 -- Rhetoric can be fun, but we have to get into these issues with depth and technicalities.

03/11/2009 -- We need to look at accounting's role messing up affairs.

01/17/2009 -- Lessons to be learned (as opposed to learnt) needs attention.

12/30/2008 -- Let's add to the list: hedge funds with the opaque nature that hides essential ponzi/madeoff characteristics (there is a return level that is only attained through suspicious means), administrators (such as those heading pension funds) who think that they need the hedge funds in order to get their returns (under estimates of assets the key problem - wanting something for nothing), anyone who thinks that money isn't moved from one pocket to another (okay, there are legit reasons for such movements - except the hapless continue to always get screwed - probably by definition), ...

12/18/2008 -- As well as people, we can list ideas that are bogus. But, any of these, such as leveraging, in and of itself, is not bad. But, fairy dusting is, by its nature, problematic.

Modified: 04/01/2011

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