Financial crisis: What you see depends on where you stand
Depending on where you stand, the financial crisis has been catastrophic or brought a much needed shake out in the financial sector; it has been disastrous for home owners or proved the folly of lending to people with poor credit histories; it has rightly rolled back the clock on naked capitalism or undermined a system that, in essence, functions perfectly well; it has punished bankers’ hubris or thrown many talented individuals out of work.
What you see depends on where you stand.
According to Italy’s economy minister, Giulio Tremonti, the current economic crisis was the inevitable consequence of policies championed by former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan.
“The mastery turned out to be madness. Alan Greenspan was considered a master. Now it should be asked whether, after Bin Laden, is it not he who has done the most harm to America?”, Tremonti was quoted as saying in an interview with Corriere della Sera newspaper this week.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in April, Greenspan hit back at his detractors. “I was praised for things I didn’t do,” he said. “I am now being blamed for things that I didn’t do.”
The debate over what happened and why, who is to blame and where we go from here has sent bloggers and columnists into overdrive. Here are links to some on the UK economy, the Paulson doctrine and AIG and Lehman. There is an argument that the United States’ response to the crisis is evidence of its waning financial power.
Who has got it right?