Time magazine is starting to kick some online posterior these days reversing a slow erosion into irrelevance. I think it started with Justin Fox of Curious Capital and their expansion online has been worth following. (No, I am not a shareholder).

The financial crisis we are enduring is systemic and there is no one specifically to blame because nearly everyone is to blame, including my 2 cats, the mailbox and my old ipod. Rather than individuals, I think its better to look at the problems by industry and agency.

Still, it feels good to point the finger.

Here’s my take on it as ranked by overall impact. Nothing scientific here.

  1. Rating Agencies
  2. Investment Banks [Tie]
  3. Subprime Lenders [Tie]
  4. SEC
  5. American Consumer
  6. Investors of CDOs
  7. Bush Administration [Tie]
  8. US Treasury [Tie]
  9. Congress [Tie]
  10. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac
  11. Commercial Banks/Mortgage Banks
  12. Federal Reserve
  13. Mortgage Brokers [Tie]
  14. Real Estate Appraisers [Tie]
  15. Clinton Administration
  16. FDIC, OTS, OCC
  17. Real Estate Brokers [Tie]
  18. Developers [Tie]
  19. Big Media
  20. Blogosphere

Did I miss anyone?

In their 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis piece, Time readers can vote for their favorites.

To vote for your favorites to blame as listed by Time.

To see the rankings from the Time survey.


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13 Responses to “[Time to Blame] Because It Feels Good”

  1. Edd Gillespie says:
    1. Reagan Administration [The]

    preceded by Adam Smith economists who want to believe the free market pursuit of self interest includes any concern or ability on the part of the participants to discipline themselves let alone correct the market.

    I think we just saw that it will hit a brick wall before anybody even tries to slow it down.

    Seems all on the list forgot to include a factor that recognizes the human attraction to cannibalism is more powerful than doing what is sensible. There have always been vast inequities in every economy that show us leaving it up to the participants to guide it along just doesn’t work except in theory, where it sounds real good.

    So the government is not a good choice for manager? Who would you suggest?

    You may be right that this is systemic, but by gosh I really want to demonize somebody.

  2. Al Gabberty says:

    you forgot Senators Dodd and Frank both of whom shot down the Bush Administrations call for more regulation…and don’t forget Barney Frank saying that FNMA was in good shape 4 days before the government nationalization began.

  3. Jonathan, I think you’ve got it ranked far better than Time and what is Madoff doing there other than being a big scoundrel.

  4. Hilarious picture! Well done.

  5. Modern Man says:

    Ed,

    Reagan must be to blame. It’s a 28 year economic lag. So I suppose the recession of ’81 was caused by JFK?

    A new understanding of economics!

    The free market is working, it’s seperating fools from their money. Foreclose the fraudulent, bankrupt the inept, liquidate the unproductive and wait. Pretty simple, actually.

  6.   [Time to Blame] Because It Feels Good por Blog - Veo y Alquilo says:

    […] Continue reading… […]

  7. Edd Gillespie says:

    “The free market is working, it’s seperating fools from their money. Foreclose the fraudulent, bankrupt the inept, liquidate the unproductive…”

    Those are the evidence the free economy is working? Sounds a lot like gang warfare.

    Who ends up with all the stuff that once belonged to the fools, the fraudulent, the inept and unproductive?

  8. DAVE says:

    IT IS OUR FAULT – EVERY AMERICAN INVESTING BLINDLY INTO 401K PLANS AND THE LIKE. EACH FRIDAY SENDING A CHUNK OF OUR PAYCHECKS TO INSTITUTIONS THAT CLEARLY HAVE NO FIDUCIARY RESPONSABILITY. YOU CAN’T WRITE BAD LOANS IF YOU CAN’T SELL THE LOANS. WE WERE THE DOPES WHO BOUGHT THE CRAP. WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT OURSELVES. STOP SENDING YOUR MONEY TO THESE IDIOTS EVERY WEEK – YOUR BEING ROBBED.

  9. Orlando says:

    The greedy bankers are still catching bonuses…..

  10. JB in NYC says:

    “… Senators Dodd and Frank both of whom shot down the Bush Administrations call for more regulation … and don’t forget Barney Frank saying that FNMA was in good shape 4 days before the government nationalization …”

    Your brilliant analysis pinpointing the exact day the global economy was destroyed and the three Democrats responsible for its downfall is amazing.

  11. JB in NYC says:

    “Who ends up with all the stuff that once belonged to the fools, the fraudulent, the inept and unproductive?”

    John Thain

  12. Edd Gillespie says:

    “Your brilliant analysis pinpointing the exact day the global economy was destroyed and the three Democrats responsible for its downfall is amazing.” Who was brilliant, what day was it and who are the democrats? If that was all contained in a post or blog, I missed it and I want to know the names of the culprits.
    Maybe after I know who done it, I can figure out how they done it.
    So far this standstill in the global economy makes no sense to me, it just is.

  13. And what about people who take $750.000 houses in credit while they are making about $50.000 a year? Would you call them wise? I wouldn’t believe real estate agents, it doesn’t matter what they say when I look at the property that is closer to million.