Monday, January 26, 2009

People who caused the global financial crisis

This Guardian survey sounded at first to me like a dumb idea but it is interesting. The wide range of people surveyed suggests the diverse origins of the current mess.

I'd foregotten all about Abby Cohen - the perpetual stock market 'bull'. But, yes, she makes the list.

At the end of the list there are 6 more who saw the whole thing coming.  I was interested in the inclusion of Kathleen Corbet, former CEO, Standard & Poor's.  I don't understand why.


Spiros said...

Standard & Poor's gave AAA ratings to packaged up excrement and a lot of investors thought, "Hey, if S&P have given this investment the seal of approval, it must be good".

Although I don't know if S&P were any more culpable than the other ratings agencies.

observa said...

The baby boomer generation, for turning what started out as sensible financial intermediation to facilitate credit in their prime time of need in the early 80s, into the greatest Madoff scheme the world has ever seen and turning a blind eye to it all as their house prices and super fund balances rose and rose and all the porcine tax recipts flowed so copiously.

hc said...

I know about that role for S&P but it seems that in some way their former CEO anticipated the mess. I have not been able to findf out how.

jc said...

It's a silly article , harry, written in a very silly paper. ignore it.

The only people responsible for the crash are the people who allowed interest rates to go down so far.

Blaming bankers because they took advantage of the situation is about as stupid as blaming BHP gearing up for the commodities boom and then having to close down the mine because they got it wrong. In fact it's about as stupid as blaming a coffee shop that geared up to satisfy what they thought were new customers that turned out to be transitory.

here's the thing... If banks have spare capacity on their balance sheet and a customer walks in through the door to borrow money they will make the loan if it fits their criteria.

If you want to stop people from borrowing that eventually may turn in crap make sure monetary policy is appropriate.

The guardian is a lefty paper and as therefore publishes pieces by mentally incapacitated scribes. Like The Age it's only meant to be laughed at.

jc said...


Isn't a pool very bad for the environment?