Do “We” belong on our own WANTED posters in the financial crisis?

 Wanted Poster

Who’s to blame?
    Who should be “WANTED” for our financial mess?
    We kicked off this week by citing the popular rage against bonuses given to AIG employees – a company mired in the financial crisis and beneficiary of bailout largess. An offense to our values, Obama said.
    Now, you can express our outrage by taking a bus tour of AIG executives’ lavish homes, called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous.”
    And, Time Magazine recently published its Top 25 list of the people responsible for it all. Here is the top five. (See the full list here.)
 Clyde Barrow WANTED poster
    #1. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, 1995 through 2000, tops the list. Gramm was a chief architect of the deregulation of the banking industry.
    #2. Christopher Cox, former head of the Securities and Exchange Committee, is blamed for lack of enforcement.
    #3. Angelo Mozilo, co-founder of Countrywide, is on the list for the company’s central role as a purveyor of subprime mortgages.
    #4. Joe Cassano, who until last year was the head of the financial products group at AIG – this is the group that got AIG into its mess.
    #5. Frank Raines, former head of Fannie Mae. Raines was in charge when the accounting scandal hit a few years ago.
    Looking down the list to #16, and we find us: American consumers, cited for living beyond our means.
    The good news today is that the stock market rallied in response to the unveiling of the Treasury Department’s new plan for toxic instruments.
    There’s plenty of blame to go around for everyone. What do you think?
    Are these the right people on the list?
    Are these people who offend our values?

(NOTE on the photo today: The photo at right is from the State of Texas Library Archives — an original WANTED poster of Clyde Barrows, a thief in the Great Depression.)

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