finger-pointingBlaming people is fun, and so is making lists of people to blame makes for easily digestible newsiness! So here’s an enjoyable bit of crisis commentary from the Guardian: The Twenty-Five People Most Responsible for the Crisis! (with a bit of a British spin of course) Wheeeeeeee! Let the finger pointing goodness begin!

Its not a surprising list – major politicians, government officials and top banking executives. But the one I was most hoping would be included was this one:

The American public
There’s no escaping the fact: politicians might have teed up the financial system and failed to police it properly and Wall Street’s greedy bankers might have got carried away with the riches they could generate, but if millions of Americans had just realised they were borrowing more than they could repay then we would not be in this mess. The British public got just as carried away. We are the credit junkies of Europe and many of our problems could easily have been avoided if we had been more sensible and just said no.

This is not to excuse the banks, as so many try to do. And admonishments to be more personally responsible shouldn’t replace sound government regulation to keep people taking advantage of those who aren’t completely responsible, but really, the American public has bought whole heartedly (of course thanks to the large propaganda machine that operates in every aspect of our consumer culture) into the idea that spending will set them free, and now we are reaping what we have sown (and so is much of the world).

Oh, and who was at the top of the list you ask?…the number one person responsible for all this mess?….

FED INTEREST RATES

Alan Greenspan!! Yaaaaaaay! Give him a gold statue. Or a fake one made of shiny toxic chemicals from China.

He is blamed for allowing the housing bubble to develop as a result of his low interest rates and lack of regulation in mortgage lending. He backed sub-prime lending and urged homebuyers to swap fixed-rate mortgages for variable rate deals, which left borrowers unable to pay when interest rates rose.

UPDATE: A piece in the Independent on the importance of the blame game, Simon Carr says:

It is exactly what we should be playing. If no one’s to blame, no one will really be punished and the whole thing will happen again.

Interesting read – and his list of blamees is only 5 long.

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