Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Left Masthead
September 28, 2016
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

In Some Cases of Elder Abuse, Banks Facilitated Financial Exploitation
Writings on the Wall

Truthdig Bazaar
Room: A Novel

Room: A Novel

By Emma Donoghue

more items

Ear to the Ground
Print this item

Update: 25 People at the Heart of the Meltdown

Posted on Aug 7, 2012
Mike Licht, (CC BY 2.0)

At the height of the financial crisis, The Guardian identified 25 bankers, economists, politicians and financial officials who helped bring about the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. What are they up to now?

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan tops the list. The acolyte of Ayn Rand is said to be making and saving billions of dollars for the world’s largest bond investor, a company called Pimco, as well as advising banks and investors.

Former Sen. Phil Gramm, who told Congress that he sees “the American dream in action” when he looks at subprime lending and who helped write the law that enabled the formation of Citigroup and Bank of America, is now a visiting scholar at the neoconservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute.

Chris Dodd, a former chairman of the Senate banking committee who received more than $150,000 from banks he shielded from regulation and after whom the reform-directed Dodd-Frank Act is partially named, is speaking against the effort to split up too-big-to-fail banks.

Perhaps uncharitably, The Guardian has listed “The American Public”—the group most harmed by the crisis domestically—in its list of 25 parties most culpable for the financial meltdown. “The men and women on the street took out billions of dollars of loans they knew they couldn’t afford,” the paper writes. Did they know this? Did they know with the precision and certainty that the architects of the crisis knew it? Should the nameless, faceless public be raised to the same level of responsibility as the bankers, economists and politicians whose job it was to understand the American economy and shape policy that protects it?

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Bill Clinton, former US president

Politicians’ current plan to help prevent another financial crisis is to ringfence banks’ risky “casino banking” divisions from the more pedestrian high street banking departments. 13 years ago Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which had done just that. Clinton’s move, which came after fierce lobbying from bankers, heralded the birth of superbanks and primed the sub-prime pump.

Gordon Brown, former prime minister

Brown’s big boast as chancellor was that he had “abolished Tory boom and bust”. He hadn’t. His prime ministerial tenure was spent presiding over the biggest bust since the Great Depression.

In his last big speech before becoming prime minister just before the crisis began he praised bankers for their role in bringing in a “new golden age for the City of London”.
To tempt foreign bankers to work in the City he backed low taxes for non-doms and “light-touch” regulation that meant they could get away.

Read more

More Below the Ad


Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

Like Truthdig on Facebook