Story Line One: The financial community, in an excess of misdirected zeal, created a lot of complex, sophisticated mechanisms to minimize risk to investors while generating cash flow to keep the financial markets humming, and, unfortunately, got lost in the complexity of their own making with the unhappy consequence that the system they set in motion got away from them, causing a financial crisis.
Story Line Two: The financial community, in general, and with malice aforethought, seized an opportunity to limit its risk by misleading foreign investors, and eventually taxpayers, to assume it. Big bank misrepresentation of phony assets, and leveraged instruments of insurance that were not backed by actual surety, created, by design, a situation which in most other contexts would be described with words like "fraud" and "theft."
Bumblers or Crooks?
Purveyors of story line one, with ample pejorative references to populists with pitchforks, seem to include the Obama administration, with its insistence that only consummate wall street professionals, like Tim Geithner, have the professional savvy and inside understanding to deal with the problem.Hand me my pitchfork. Whether influenced by the genteel argument of the esteemed Paul Krugman, or the raw, and devastating, analysis of Matt Taibbi, the answer is the same. Wall street hubris is unconscionable, and the time to check it is long past.