Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Inside Job-Naming the Culprits

If you want to clearly understand all the elements of the Financial Crisis, I strongly suggest you view the academy award winning documentary "The Inside Job".  It'll be worth the effort to track the film down and the time it takes to view it.  It'll make you angry, but you'll see how all the familiar names chased the almighty dollar at the expense of our collective financial welfare. I promise you'll learn everything you need to know to make sense of the whole sorry mess.

Highlights from an article in The New York Times, "Naming the Culprits" by Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story:

“Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse,” a 650 page report, was released Wednesday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, whose co-chairmen are Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, and Tom Coburn, a Republican of Oklahoma. The result of two years’ work, the report focuses on an array of institutions with central roles in the mortgage crisis: Washington Mutual, an aggressive mortgage lender that collapsed in 2008; the Office of Thrift Supervision, a regulator; the credit ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service; and the investment banks Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

“The report pulls back the curtain on shoddy, risky, deceptive practices on the part of a lot of major financial institutions,” Mr. Levin said in an interview. “The overwhelming evidence is that those institutions deceived their clients and deceived the public, and they were aided and abetted by deferential regulators and credit ratings agencies who had conflicts of interest.”

The report adds significant new evidence to previously disclosed material showing that a wide swath of the financial industry chose profits over propriety during the mortgage lending spree. It also casts a harsh light on what the report calls regulatory failures, which helped deepen the crisis.

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