Time blames Bush,Clinton,23 others for financial crisis

Blame also goes to former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan,past SEC chief Chris Cox,Hank Paulson and ‘American Consumers’

Written by Press Trust Of India | New York | Published: February 16, 2009 12:38:52 am

Former US Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton,and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao are on the list of ‘25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis’,compiled by Time magazine.

The list also features former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan,past Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Chris Cox,former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and ‘American Consumers’,among others.

“Time’s picks for the top 25 people to blame for the financial crisis include everyone from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and former President George W Bush to the former CEO of Merrill Lynch and you — the American consumer,” the magazine said in an accompanying report published online.

New York financier Bernie Madoff,who has confessed to swindling funds to the tune of 50 billion dollars,former Merrill Lynch chief executive Stan O’ Neal,former boss of Royal Bank of Scotland Fred Goodwin and former Iceland President David Oddsson are also on the list.

Pointing out that Bush embraced a governing philosophy of deregulation,the magazine said it trickled down to federal oversight agencies,which in turn “eased off on banks and mortgage brokers”.

“… after the Enron scandal,Bush backed and signed the aggressively regulatory Sarbanes-Oxley Act. But SEC head William Donaldson tried to boost regulation of mutual and hedge funds,he was blocked by Bush’s advisers at the White House as well as other powerful Republicans and quit.

“Plus,let’s face it,the meltdown happened on Bush’s watch,” the report noted.

On Clinton,Time said his tenure was characterised by economic prosperity and financial deregulation,“which in many ways set the stage for the excesses of recent years”. “Think of Wen as a proxy for the Chinese government particularly those parts of it that have supplied the US with an unprecedented amount of credit over the past eight years,” Time said while writing on Jiabao. Regarding American consumers,the report said in the 2008 third quarter,they started to save more and spend less. “We enjoyed living beyond our means,no wonder we wanted to believe it would never end,” Time said.

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