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Foreign Exchange

The blame game: Who's responsible for the credit crunch, liquidity crisis, sub-prime debacle or complete and utter financial carnage?

The ousting of various chief executives of financial institutions around the world is natural, given the size of the value destruction they have overseen. But as the sorry saga – known variously as the credit crunch, liquidity crisis, sub-prime debacle or complete and utter financial carnage – plays out, many are starting to play the blame game.

After all, it takes more than a few banking big wigs to bring the global economy to its knees. Perhaps we are all guilty of suspending reality. Anyway, here, in no particular order, is the weeklyFiX’s attempt to make sure that those who deserve it, get their fair mention:

  1. The Septics (aka US bankers) – For thinking that they were clever and understood financial markets. Creating sub-prime mortgages was bad enough, but repackaging them and selling them to stupid people all over the world makes them 100% guilty.

  2. European banks – For believing that a new asset had been created and rushing in to capture some yield.

  3. Rating agencies – For persistently getting it so wrong.

  4. Hedge funds – Apparently aggressive financial predators who nearly tipped the world’s financial markets into the abyss.

  5. TCI – For forcing the break up of ABN Amro, claiming it was worth more than its €50 billion market capitalisation. How wrong it was. As a result, one European bank disappeared and two others have been nationalised.

  6. Fred ‘the Shred’ Goodwin – For thinking TCI was right and then paying too much for some not very good bits of ABN Amro.

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