Some people look back at the start of the crisis and wonder how things would have played out if the government had decided to save Lehman Brothers. Lehman's failure fed a chain reaction that essentially froze the credit markets.
So why didn't Treasury save Lehman? Then Secretary Henry Paulson has said the government tried to broker a deal but couldn't, and was worried that another bailout would present a real moral hazard, encouraging even riskier behavior down the road.
Lawrence McDonald, a vice president at Lehman, has a different take. McDonald has a new book out which lays the blame at the foot of a handful of Lehman executives, particularly CEO Richard Fuld.
McDonald, on Morning Edition today, described a meeting between Fuld and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in the spring of 2008.
Mr. Fuld said something along the lines to the Treasury secretary: He said 'You know I've been in my seat a lot longer than you were in yours at Goldman Sachs, Don't tell me how to do things. I'll do things at my speed.' And I think right there, Lehman's fate might have been sealed.
The book's title: "A Colossal Faiure of Common Sense."