October 21st, 2008
11:07 AM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #3 James Cayne

Program Note:
Every night we add a new name to our list... Watch AC360° tonight 10p ET.

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.
#3 on our list: Former CEO of Bear Sterns, James Cayne. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Dem Plans

    I enjoy AC360 and have no love lost for these culprits, but this seems a little dangerous.

    People have lost their homes and life savings, and CNN is posting 'Wanted' signs. You might as well bring back 'Crossfire', give out guns, and home addresses, and televise the ensuing events.

    Please reconsider the tone of this otherwise worthwhile investigation.

    What would Howard Kurtz say?

    October 21, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  2. jim

    Don't forget , Dodd, and Shumer with their sweetheart deals from Countrywide. The real architects of the collapse would be the Democratic Congress with their 6% approval rating . The Democrat congress ignored all warnings. It could have saved the American people a lot of money if the Democrats were honest rather than corrupt. It is typical of the democrats to blame it on the Republicans. That seems to be the platform Obama is running on.

    October 21, 2008 at 8:37 pm |
  3. Nita

    Anderson Cooper and CNN, great job on exposing these people. There is so much greed and corruption on Wall Street and in the White House the last eight years, I am frankly surprised our economy is not worse than what it is.

    October 21, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  4. deborah

    Hey Anderson,

    I really like your show, but where's Barny Frank and Chris Dodd???
    How about some balanced reporting.
    The American public is not stupid and we're losing respect for your program.

    October 21, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  5. Sherr

    CNN is reporting the list to the people responsible for the collapse of our economy. Why don’t you list their political parties also are they Democrats or republicans

    October 21, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  6. Joe Brown

    I think at the head of the list of "Culprits of the Collapse" should be all the big oil CEO's. The oil companies took money away from working families that otherwise would have went for the house payment and started the downward fall in the economy.

    October 21, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  7. Mike


    My concern and problems are probably just another story, but now I am stuck because of the industry change and busted economy. I took a mortgage loan based on a program that no longer exists. It was removed, I am guessing because someone decided it was not safe for the average consumer. I am now stuck with an adjustable rate because I can not sell, nor can I refinance. Who offers programs to the public, allows them to use the program and then removes it?

    Luckily I have been holding on out of luck. I carry 750 scores and have given up everything that allows me keep some sort of happiness just to make sure my payments are on time. I am not blaming anyone; however, I have no options.

    I think it’s unfortunate that we are sending 700+ billion to Wall Street for a stimulus lending package when we have not addressed the consumer. Why won’t anyone suggest a mandatory rate lock for all adjustable rates? There are still millions of adjustable rates out there that haven’t even started to adjust.

    I hope someone can impliment such a plan. Great show Anderson.

    October 21, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  8. Jim Baus

    Everybody wants to put a focused blame on a very broad problem. Sure, greed and politics play a big part in the problem but we have to look back at recent unprecedented (except for the internet bubble) growth to realize that it was based on thin air- there was no real financial (contribution to GNP) contribution. It was a cook-the-books way to maximize shareholder value and corporate bonuses not unlike Japan in the eighties (real estate) and now China (real estate). I am pleased to see a huge correction because the commodities required for the viability of my chemical business had gotten so ridiculously out of hand I simply could not afford them. Let investors be accountable for their own risks and play for the long term- tax the hell out of short term gains, particularly speculation which contributes ZERO to productivity.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  9. Richard

    What about Richard Shelby, the most powerful member of the Senate and head of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs up to 2007. Selby oversaw the passage of many bills that deregulated and made lax the oversight of banking and consumer protection laws protecting lenders and borrowers. The administration happily signed them into law and the subprime markets and dangerous lending practices excellerated unabated.

    If you want to talk about architects, you need to examine all the pieces that needed to be put in place over the course of a number of years to incubate the culture of the collapse. You can scream all you want with indignation, however, you need to provide specifics and detailed argument for your claims if you think you know what you are talking about.

    Seriously, it is clear you don't have the facts or arguments to prove anything. As deregulation went on year after year, the burden of risk grew bigger and bigger and with nobody taking the responsibility for oversight as it raged out of control.

    The burden of the risk that grew in the derivatives market in leaps of hundreds of trillions of dollars over five and six years was set into motion years ago.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  10. Joseph Michaels expatriate in Thailand

    Dear Anderson,

    I believe that your expose of James Cayne revealed the truth about our economic crisis. In talking to a friend, Cayne confesses that he was forced to adopt and follow the policies that led to the collapse of Bear-Sterns by 'financial giants' that forced him to follow their plan. It is these 'financial giants' that artificially control the financial world. They control the politicians, banks, CEOs such as Cayne, and fed chairmen like Greenspan and Bernake. They laid the groundwork for this crisis ten years ago through the people they control, and now are reaping the benefits of the seeds they sowed. While we scurry around like rats trying to figure out what happened.
    Find the Board of the Federal Reserve, and I think you will truly find your 10 most wanted.

    Joseph Michaels
    expatriate in Thailand

    October 21, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  11. Ken

    I came in to this when there were 3 opening left in the 10. I thought perfect, they saved the best for last. Frank, Dodd, and Shumer. The real architects of the collapse. If I were a conspiracy theorist this would be a perfect case of sinking America just to promote a Democratic candidate. Capitalism has always had to work to exploit the arcane regulations that Congress comes us with. The fact that these 3 guys ignored all warnings and pushed many businesses to do deals they didn't really want to is criminal. Wish we were in Japan so I could have watched these guys fall on their swords in shame. Here they march around like Peacocks pointing the finger at everyone else. Reprehensible and traitorous.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  12. GB

    We are all waiting to see if Barney Franks and Chris Dodd make the list. They (and a few more just like them) are at the TOP of my guilty list in this collapse mess. They took an oath to be concerned about the public and not their pocketbook!

    October 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  13. ed

    My earlier recommendation for the addition of Raines, Frank and Dodd to the culprits list which would also be a test of the objectivity of the whole project was assigned to the "moderation" heap by tne editor here. I'm glad someone has awakened and enjoy th fact that so many others similar and even more questioning comments have made the blog. And why limit the list to ten as though it only took 10 Biggies to create this mess we're in !!

    October 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  14. Jeff in Michigan

    I am also tired of hearing that this is due to lack of regulation. If we were in a free market, this would not have happened. Banks would not allow themsleves to loan monies to people that could not pay it back. It is due to regulation and race baiting that caused this crash. Who in their right mind would loan monies to a person with no income, no job and no assets. What happened to the good ole days when a hand shake was good enough to make a load and people were judges by their character. Please report the news. You are part of the problem.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  15. Eric Huawer


    I am glad you saved the last two entries for the two most responsible
    "Culprits of the Collapse". Barney Frank and Chris Todd.


    October 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  16. Al Kissock

    Anderson Cooper

    On your 10 most wanted list the names on your list are not the ones who created this financial problem. Let me list the real names of what caused this: ACCORN, Barney Franks, Chris Dodd, Charles Schumer, Franklin Raines, Maxine Waters and the rest of the Black Caucus. Maybe you did not want to put the correct names up there because they are ALL Democrats, but I think the public has a right to know the truth. If you want TO KEEP THEM HONEST, I hope you have enough courage to do so.


    October 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  17. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Hey Anderson
    You are right,now is the time to talk about blame the financial collaps.Political likes to say,lets talk later,but people deserve the truth,because at least they have to pay the price.So tell them the facts and
    the names of your list.People trust you

    October 21, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  18. Eon

    I like the idea of the wanted list, and don't have a problem with the people on the list. However, we need to add Rep. Barney Frank to the list. In 2003, he blocked proposed oversight to Fannie Mae that TS John Snow was pushing for. Now we know he had a relationship with an official at Fannie Mae. I would also like to know more about Chris Dodd's involvement since he is the Senate Banking Committee Chairman.

    PLEASE do a Special Report: What exactly do these financial committee's do? How close are they to the sector? What should we expect of them? Are they of any real use? Are they just another lobby group?

    Please Anderson get us some answers!

    October 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  19. UnPoliticallyCorrect2008

    Hmmmmm.....wondering why the guys from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are NOT on your list thus far???? Franklin Raines, where is he.

    While we are on tagging people in Washington–Ummm, where are Barney Franks or Chris Dodd?? There is phyical proof that they REFUSED to regulate Fannie and Freddie and yet you do not have either Congressman or Fannie and Freddie heads on your board.


    October 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  20. Gilby-HI

    How about Franklin Rains? He in more responsable then all these guy put together

    October 21, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  21. New Jersey Student

    Funny...............I don't yet see any democrats such as Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer. What about Rains and Acorn?????????? – c'mon Anderson we are beggin' you to do your job!!!!!!!!!!!!! We've learned the game of connect the dots as toddlers.

    P.S. I am sure this will be reviewed and deemed inappropriate for posting because it's the truth. Enjoy your day.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  22. Susan

    Where's Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank in your list. These were the guys behind the others you've already put on your list. Let's get back to the source. Who put the kids in the candy store? Banking legislators and Alan Greenspan for sure.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  23. Melissa, Los Angeles

    Can CNN please elaborate on AIG's recent junket to Europe? I heard about it on the radio yesterday and was shocked that general media has not talked about it. I think this financial fiasco is beyond just the CEO's – it goes right down to the idiot who took the subprime loan in the first place.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:09 pm |
  24. pete

    Hey Cooper,
    I noticed that you have two spots open on the your most wanted list. If Barney Frank and Chriss Dodd don't make the list like Phil Graham this segment should be considered slanted and naturally biased like most of CNN's reporting.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:05 pm |
  25. chuck

    It was DEREGULATIONS that caused GREED and John McCain should be held RESPONSIBLE for his stand against REGULATIONS,which he ADMITTED himself. John McCain is also against Obama's HEALTH CARE PLAN because he thinks it's a burden on government to run.

    October 21, 2008 at 11:20 am |