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October 15th, 2008
02:50 PM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #6 Alan Greenspan


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So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#6 on our list: Former Federal Reserve Chariman Alan Greenspan. CNN's Tom Foreman reports.

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Janet

    We, the American people, have created the climate in which all these players made this possible. We can't stand any bad news, nor can we stand market corrections. And, no wonder. Very few of us can depend on our wages and "pensions" to pay our way decently until death. There are very few defined benefit plans out there anymore, and social security will pay a fraction of a living income. So, we have to depend on 401ks and our homes to provide the money we'll need once we retire.

    Although we've heard that many baby-boomers plan to work indefinitely, very few will have an opportunity to work in lucrative positions. Thus the jokes about becoming WalMart greeters.

    It is no longer possible to bank our money and live off the interest, thanks to the low interest junkies. Even today, during the stock market meltdown, I heard commentators calling for another rate decrease. Money lent deserves a reasonable return. Lower and lower interest rates just fuel the free rides so many have wanted to take. Since the markets reward speculation, and punish savings, many have been speculating.

    October 16, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  2. Ron Olson

    While George the emperor Bush was listening to his minions tell him he had cloths on Queen Nancy Pelosi & her pals on the right and left of Congress was playing Partisan Politics with our futures. No one in Washington was looking out for the Americans! Now when they have to actually do their job they can’t stop the partisan game and taking care of special interest groups while many of us are losing our homes, savings & retirements. They all should work on a group discount with a placement service they will need it is hard finding a job these days

    October 15, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  3. Tim W.

    At its core, the subprime failure was a victimless crime, a private act between consenting adults – lenders and borrowers. Greenspan cannot be held accountable for this.

    But the tax payers will pay the price but not because of Greenspan.

    October 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  4. Paula (Indiana)

    I'm not surprised to see Greenspan's name on the list. If my memory serves me correctly, didn't Greenspan once work for or with Charles Keating? I thought I read that in an old article in the NR entitled, "Chronicle of a Debaucle." I think?? The article was published so long ago, I am not sure I still have the facts straight in my head. Even so, Greenspan has always seemed a bit sinister. His manipulation of the prime lending rate deverves to be listed on the 10 Most Wanted Culprits of the Collapse. He made it possible for America to go on a spending spree. If the banks fail and the markets totally collapse... it's good to know he will get to share some of the blame. I have to wonder if any of these so called culprits will be prosecuted in anyway or will they just fade into the rubble of the collapse and get away with their atrocities. I wonder where all of his money is banked?

    October 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  5. roy stojsih

    can some one please tell me why on gods green earth are the very people who caused this mess and who have worked for these financial companies holding the check book for 7 trillion dollars plus . the dem and rep are both up to their necks in this and they are all trying to cover their collective butts. and why even though we have been told no ceo compensations they are still going to get it anyway . I for one when it comes time to vote am tired of being lied to or thought of as being just another stupid american they can hoodwink i intend on voting for every name on my ballot that i don not recognise

    October 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  6. Alan R.

    I believe that CNN shares in the blame for exacerbating the collapse of the economy. CNN has a style that approaches "yellow journalism", in that it is almost constantly stirring up feelings regarding the problems we face, to keep viewers tuned into the channel, rather than just presenting the news. In order to do that it requires emphasizing what worrisome or frightening things may happen. This tends to magnify the fear, resulting, for example, in an even greater cut-back in consumer spending, which of course results in a worsening of the economy.

    October 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  7. Heather,ca

    Only after watching the special that CNN did on the mortgage crisis did I learn that Alan Greenspan publicly encouraged the use of flexible home loans in allowing more people to be home owners. The very thing that helped builders of homes. When the Fed Chairman publicly encourages something people listened. The only thing is he never thought to consider the factor of greed. He created an enviroment cheep easy money. Only others took a good intention and a ponzi scheme and gambled on wall street and now we the tax payers are paying for it.

    October 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  8. Larry

    What about the universities and the professors that turned out these idiots? Take away their endowments to pay for bailouts. Harvard gets enough in endowments that it could cover the tuition of some 15,000 students a year.

    October 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  9. JC- Los Angeles

    By the time the second plane hit the World Trade Center, this book advance receiving hack was lowering interest rates and artificially propping up a nation in free fall.

    How Greenspan felt that a post 9/11 spending frenzy was a good idea is anyone's guess.

    With each egregious rate cut, this scion of Park Avenue failed to comprehend the fraudulent nature of the connected few and failed to see the smoke emanating from the mortgage fraud factories and Wall Street.

    With a penchant for hyperbole that even he may not understand, this all-time hack should appear on the list twice; once for his own horrid deeds and once for his training of the equally pathetic Ben Bernanke.

    October 15, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  10. Matt in Montana

    Why are these people along with many others not being tried for their treason to the American People? We need to make people accountable for their actions the those in charge of any business institution accountable for that business' actions period! If we can really find a way to do that and get rid of all the corruption from the government down we will stop this madness that is going to cost the honest American their money, their homes and in many cases their families and their lives.
    My only asnwer is Wake Up America!!! Only we can stop this by taking control of our government, re-accepting the Constitution and live by the fundamentals of freedom and all the ideals that make America the best country to live in bar-none!! Time to shine up the Liberty Bell.

    October 15, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  11. matt

    if chris dodd and barney frank are NOT on this "most wanted" it is a shame !. i go along with cox, greenspan and others

    October 15, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  12. Chad, Indiana

    Greenspan wanted more regulation, but after 9/11 and Enron Worldcom cooking the books the market was about to go into a recession. Mr Bush didn't want this so he asked, twisted Greenspans arm to have the rate cut. If a crack head puts a gun to your head you better give him more money so he can get some more crack. This should be Bush not Greenspan!

    October 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  13. Billie

    Good work, and keep going. I'm sure we will be surprised who will be the remaining four. Whether Republicans or Democrats they need to be exposed,

    October 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  14. Scott Orlando, FL

    You should see what I've got buried in my back yard!

    October 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  15. datadave

    He's numero uno in my book. The ultimate endorsor of derivatives and the shadow banking system that's really behind this collapse.

    Anyone who'd try to use Ayn Rand's crazy ideas as an economic ideology (Greenspan was Rand's acolyte) gets what we are getting...massive downsizing of the middle class and more poverty.

    October 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  16. Cindy

    I want to know when will we get to the meat and potatoes of this thing...the politicians! Greenspan was one of the few who actually tried to help and wanted more regulation so where are the dems on your list who fought that!?

    Cindy...Ga.

    October 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  17. Daph D.

    I just love this "most wanted list" it makes me laugh even when there is less and less to laugh at nowadays. I don't blame these, a lot of people where to blame for the economic turmoil, even the American people who spent way beyond their means.

    October 15, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  18. Max

    HOGWASH – he wanted more regulation.

    October 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  19. Larry

    Wondering when you'll get to Barney Frank, Fannie, Freddie, and the founder of the subprime mortgage Penny Pritzker?

    October 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm |