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All Fall Down
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times


New York Times, November 26, 2008
Posted: December 12th, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/opinion/26friedman.html?pa...

I spent Sunday afternoon brooding over a [New York Times] front-page article, entitled ["Citigroup Saw No Red Flags Even as It Made Bolder Bets]. In searing detail it exposed ... how some of our countrys best-paid bankers were overrated dopes who had no idea what they were selling, or greedy cynics who did know and turned a blind eye. But it wasnt only the bankers. This financial meltdown involved a broad national breakdown in personal responsibility, government regulation and financial ethics. So many people were in on it: People who had no business buying a home, with nothing down and nothing to pay for two years; people who had no business pushing such mortgages, but made fortunes doing so; people who had no business bundling those loans into securities and selling them to third parties, as if they were AAA bonds, but made fortunes doing so; people who had no business rating those loans as AAA, but made fortunes doing so; and people who had no business buying those bonds and putting them on their balance sheets so they could earn a little better yield, but made fortunes doing so. Citigroup was involved in, and made money from, almost every link in that chain. And the banks executives, including ...the former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, were ... so ensnared by the cronyism between the banks risk managers and risk takers (and so bought off by their bonuses) that they had no interest in stopping it. These are the people whom taxpayers bailed out on Monday to the tune of what could be more than $300 billion.

Note: For many revealing reports on the Wall Street bailout from major media sources, click here.


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