From today's Washington Post:
In reflecting on his term, which comes to an end in January, Paulson said his biggest regret was not seeing the extent of the financial crisis as it developed. ... "We were always behind. We saw the problem, but it took us a while to see the severity of the problem," he said. "But even if we had been more clairvoyant, we wouldn't have been able to do much differently that what we have done."Well, excuse me, but boo-hoo.
As Dean Baker points out:
Can't put it much more succinctly than that. Not only does Paulson personally and professionally bear responsibility for creating the situation in the first place, he has also been in a position to do something about it for some two-and-a-half years. Now we're supposed to believe this all came as a surprise to him?
The point is extremely simple. There was a huge housing bubble that should have been visible to any competent economic analyst. The bubble was fueled by an enormous chain of highly leveraged finance. (As head of Goldman Sachs, Mr. Paulson personally made hundreds of millions of dollars from this bubble.)It was entirely predictable that the housing bubble would burst and that its collapse would have a huge impact on the financial system and the economy as a whole. There is zero excuse for Paulson being caught by surprise by a "storm" that he helped create.
Here's a hint, Henry: If you want to see where this economic crisis came from, or maybe see some of Mr. Greenspan's newly-discovered greed, just look in a mirror.
I am so ready for this pack of rats to be run out of town. Even if the next bunch is bad (and I don't see how they can be nearly as bad), it will at least be fresh rats. Oy.