284 Views |  Like

The Dirty Dozen: the bankers and brokers responsible for the financial crisis

Original Source: Rolling Stone


Rolling Stone Magazine’s article “Dirty Dozen: Meet the bankers and brokers responsible for the financial crisis – and the officials who let them get away with it” reveals the individuals who are mostly responsible for America’s fnancial crisis…


The Enabler

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

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 Hermés scarves, and Baccarat crystal glassware.

The Ideologue

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

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

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.

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.”

The Predator

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.”

The Decorator

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.

The Maestro

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.”