25 People Responsible for the Crisis

Greenspan, King, and Clinton all played a role, the Guardian writes
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2009 3:25 PM CST
A portrait of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan by artist Geoffrey Raymond is photographed outside the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Oct. 24, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – The current recession is a wholly man-made phenomenon, the Guardian reminds us, and they’ve got the names of those responsible. Here are four from their list of 25:

  • Alan Greenspan: Fed chair for 19 years, Greenspan kept interest rates low as the housing bubble developed, backed subprime lending and variable interest rate mortgages, and strongly defended the use of credit derivatives.

  • Mervyn King: Governor of the Bank of England since 2003, King played down the signs of a brewing financial meltdown, declining to cut rates early on. He also refused to inject cash into the financial system, citing “moral hazard.”
  • Bill Clinton: The president strengthened the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, making subprime lending easier. He also repealed the Glass-Steagall act, allowing deposit-based and investment banks to merge.
  • Kathleen Corbet: Under her tenure as CEO, Standard & Poor's pumped out AAA credit ratings for collateralized debt obligations, the securities backed by mortgages—often subprime—that turned into today’s “toxic assets.”
Click the link below for the complete list.
(Read more Standard and Poor stories.)