Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Scoop on "The Dirty Dozen"

Rolling Stone has a very interesting article, The Dirty Dozen, about the individuals who are responsible for the present financial crisis.

Meet the bankers and brokers responsible for the financial crisis - and the officials who let them get away with it.

The Enabler
ALAN GREENSPAN

WAS Chairman of the Federal Reserve (1987-2006)
WHAT HE DID Pushed for sweeping power to regulate Wall Street — and then failed to use it. Fueled "irrational" bubble with low interest rates.
WORST MOVE Called derivatives like CDOs "extraordinarily useful"; regulating them would be a "mistake."
NOW ADMITS He was "partially" wrong to not impose tougher oversight.

The Pioneer
SANDY WEILL

WAS CEO of Citigroup (1998-2003)
WHAT HE DID Created the first too-big-to-fail company, Citigroup. Led the boom in subprime mortgages.
RECENTLY Celebrated $45 billion taxpayer bailout of Citi by taking Mexican vacation on Citigroup jet, complete with $13,000 carpets, pillows made from Herm├ęs scarves, and Baccarat crystal glassware.

The Ideologue
PHIL GRAMM

WAS Senate Banking Committee chair (1995-2000)
KNOWN AS "High priest of deregulation"
WHAT HE DID Pushed repeal of Glass-Steagall Act, leading to rise of megabanks.
WORST MOVE Wrote law that exempted disastrous CDS deals from all regulation.
NOW ADMITS Nothing. Says there is "no evidence" his laws caused crash, which he dismissed as a "mental recession."

The Arsonist
JOE CASSANO

WAS Chief of AIG Financial Products (2001-2008)
WHAT HE DID Blew a $500 billion hole in fabric of the universe by placing massive bet on the bubble economy with money he didn't have.
WORST MOVE In August 2007 told investors his CDS deals could not lose even "$1"; lost $352 million that quarter.
NOW Enjoying his $280 million in earnings.

The Bagman
ROBERT RUBIN

WAS Treasury secretary (1995-1999)
WHAT HE DID Opposed regulation of credit swaps; fought to overturn Glass-Steagall Act, leading to creation of Citigroup, where he later made $115 million.
WORST MOVE Asked Treasury to pressure ratings agencies to delay downgrading Enron, a Citigroup debtor.
NOW Still on Citi's board; mentor of Treasury Secretary Geithner.

The Card Shark
JIMMY CAYNE

WAS CEO of Bear Stearns (1993-2008)
WHAT HE DID Took card-playing vacations and allegedly smoked weed while Bear went bankrupt.
WORST MOVE Cashed out his $61 million share after resigning shortly before Bear's sale to J.P. Morgan Chase.
NOW SAYS Of Treasury Secretary Geithner: "The guy thinks he's got a big dick. He's got nothing, except maybe a boyfriend."

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