So-called Maestro Alan Greenspan, still pining for Ayn Rand's seductively simplistic rationalization of infantile selfish fantasy, reasserts all the things he "knows" that the Great Recession has disproven. As the Great Depression which birthed him had disproven before.
Only an honest man could abjure the convictions of a lifetime, based on new (to him) experience. Instead, Greenspan quote-mines his inscrutable mumbles for something, anything exculpatory:
He pointed out that the Fed had warned about subprime lending and low-down-payment mortgages in 1999, and again in 2001.There's no time - or authority - left for Greenspan to redeem himself. He had a run of luck, and then the maelstrom... He can't fix it, so he can't let himself regret letting it blow up.
Citigroup's executives, fat and happy and well-paid to ignore the truth, essay instead the Sgt. Schultz defense.
“No one, including myself, ever conceived we would see real estate prices plunge 30 to 40 percent, with homeowners walking away from homes en masse for the first time ever,” Thomas Maheras, the former co-head of Citi’s investment bank who oversaw its mortgage activities, said.Lots of people knew there were problems. If educational TV is running "Flip That House" marathons, warning! People with no special training were wondering where all the buyers for million dollar houses would come from. Maheras was raking in too much money to notice.
Brooksley Born gets the last word:
“The Fed utterly failed to prevent the financial crisis,” she said. “The Fed and other banking regulators failed to prevent the housing bubble, they failed to prevent the predatory lending scandal, they failed to prevent our biggest banks and holding companies from engaging in activities that would bring them to the verge of collapse without massive taxpayer bailouts.”