Many folks are asking what the hell is going on, how did we get here and who is responsible?
The Washington post has named names on what and who are responsible for this disaster.
It seems Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. didn't want any regulation on the growing shadow banking system called derivatives.
In spite of the stand off, Rubin, Greenspan and Levitt won. Derivatives would not be regulated. Later, Larry Summers, Rubin's successor continued the fight to keep regulation out of the derivatives markets.
Born - A lack of basic information allowed traders in derivatives to take positions that may threaten our regulated markets or, indeed, our economy, without the knowledge of any federal regulatory authority.
After shutting up Born the lobbyists got their ultimate bill, The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The final blow was done by slipping in a huge amendment after the 2000 election called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.
Remember this is 1998. Take a look at this dark monster and it's Godzilla economic proportions:
The global derivatives market topped $530 trillion as of June 30 this year, including $55 trillion in the suddenly popular credit-default swaps; that $530 trillion represents all contracts outstanding. The total dollars at risk is much smaller, but still a hefty $2.7 trillion, according to an estimate by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing today where Arthur Levitt testified. Note not a mention from him on the fact he was in on the cause or derivatives. He simply blames Cox, current head of the SEC.
Now why is this important in terms of this election? Rubins is advising the Obama campaign, Jason Furman, Obama's top economic adviser is a Robert Rubin clone and part of the Hamilton Project. Larry Summers, (remember when he claimed girls can't do math and was ousted from Harvard?) is also involved with Obama.
On the McCain side, Phil Graham was heavily involved in his campaign earlier. Senator Richard Lugar, who both campaigns claim to consult, was also involved.
Note: One thing we do not hear on the campaign trail is anything about derivatives and how they are causing this mess.
The European Tribune has also picked up on the evil doers of the financial crisis.