Mr. Buck Passer
WAS: Chairman of the SEC (2005-2009)
WHAT HE DID: Gave the market a free ride, waiting until far too late to reverse the disastrous "voluntary regulation" program of 2004 and police the ratings agencies.
LAME EXCUSE: Insisted it wasn't his fault, claiming deregulatory policies tied his hands.
NOW SAYS: His "greatest contribution" during the crisis was staying "calm."
WAS: Head of Countrywide Financial (1969-2008)
WHAT HE DID: Biggest provider of subprime mortgages; specialized in predatory loans that put broke people in mansions.
WORST MOVE: "Friends of Angelo" program gave favorable mortgages to Sens. Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad.
NOW SAYS: Called plea from homeowner facing foreclosure "disgusting."
WAS: Chief of Merrill Lynch (2007-2009)
WHAT HE DID: Concealed $15 billion hole in Merrill balance sheet until government subsidized the sale of his company. Went skiing in Vail just before revealing losses.
WORST MOVE: Proposed $10 million bonus for himself as company imploded; OK'd $1.2 million office refurbishing.
IS NOW: Facing class-action suit for concealing losses.
WAS: CEO of Goldman Sachs (1999-2006); Treasury secretary (2006-2009)
WHAT HE DID: Pushed for end to debt restrictions for banks like Goldman, then arranged big bailout for Goldman.
WORST MOVE: TARP proposal just three pages long; made his decisions "non-reviewable."
NOW SAYS: "I don't think we've made mistakes on the major decisions."
The Big Loser
WAS: CEO of Lehman Brothers (1993-2008)
WHAT HE DID: Piloted Lehman to largest bankruptcy in U.S. history; earned $22 million the year firm went bust.
WORST MOVE: Tried to avoid lawsuits by selling his $13 million Florida home to his wife for $100.
NOW SAYS: Feels "horrible" about Lehman, but insists his management was "prudent and appropriate."
Mr. Too Big
IS: CEO of Bank of America (2001-present)
WHAT HE DID: Created ultimate too-big-to-fail company, buying up Fleet, MBNA, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch.
WORST MOVE: Failed to catch a $15 billion loss at Merrill before buying the firm; needed $20 billion bailout to close deal.
NOW SAYS: It's a false "claim" to say "the banks that caused this mess must be held accountable."