Who Do We Blame? --- Please, Tell Us. : Planet Money Pick a villain in the economic crisis.. Name names, please.

Who Do We Blame? —- Please, Tell Us.

We are starting to think about our next big project for NPR and This American Life.

We might do something on who is to blame for the current crisis and we'd like your help.

For many, the answer is obvious. The problem is that there are lots of folks with different obvious answers.

Right now, I'd like to get some input: who do you blame and why?

Here's a list of the people and institutions I hear most often. Please note: I am NOT saying this is my list of who I think should be blamed or that I agree with all of the reasoning. This is just a list of what I hear from others. Some, I think, are probably certainly to blame, others that I've listed are almost certainly not.

Who would you add to this list?

  • >
  • Banks.
  • Bank CEOs or bank risk managers.
  • Credit ratings agencies.
  • Over-reliance on ridiculously complex computer models.
  • Financial engineers.
  • Over-reliance on ridiculously complex financial instruments.
  • Homeowners who default.
  • Deregulation.
  • Ronald Reagan.
  • Bill Clinton.
  • Phil Gramm.
  • The repeal of Glass-Steagall.
  • Too much regulation.
  • Mark-to-market accounting rules.
  • Community Reinvestment Act.
  • George W. Bush -- it happened on his watch. He was anti-regulation.
  • Global imbalances -- China buying too much U.S. debt, Europe and Japan not growing fast enough.
  • Lack of a gold peg to the dollar.
  • Capitalism.
  • These kinds of booms and busts are endemic to the system.
  • All of us -- we consumers just got too much in debt.

Who am I missing?