Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Blame Game

Time magazine this week has a great, enjoyable piece on "25 People to Blame" for the financial crisis, a sort of media perp walk of the notables of the financial crisis, led by Angelo Mozilo, the founder of Countrywide. Readers' rankings of the relative culpability of the slate of suspects can be found here. Advocating deregulation seems to be an important component of being considered for this list, as the Phil Gramm (#2), Alan Greenspan (#3), Bill Clinton (#13), and George W. Bush (#14) nominations demonstrate. The Era of Deregulation continues to wane.

It is interesting how high "American Consumers" ranked on the blame list (#5 on Time's list, although they are ranked much lower in responsibility by readers). And, the addition of the programming director at HGTV seems a bit of a stretch, at least for a top 25 list. If a critical component of the crisis was deregulation (and in my view that is accurate), placing such high culpability on consumers for taking out loans that really ought to have been regulated, if not banned, in the first instance seems at rough glance to be misplaced, or perhaps exaggerated, blame.

No comments: