“This crisis is the culmination of events and trends reaching back, depending on your perspective, four, seven, seventeen, twenty-two, twenty-seven, thirty-eight, sixty-five, or a hundred and two years. (…) The causes are technological, mathematical, cultural, demographic, financial, economic, behavioral, legal, and political. Among the dozens of contributors and culprits, real or perceived, are the personal computer, the abandonment of the gold standard, the abandonment of Glass-Steagall, the end of fixed commissions, the rating agencies, mortgage-backed securities, securitization in general, credit derivatives, credit-default swaps, Wall Street partnerships going public, the League of Nations, Bretton Woods, Basel II, CNBC, the S.E.C., disintermediation, overcompensation, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, Phil Gramm and Jim Leach, Alan Greenspan, black swans, red tape, deregulation, outdated regulation, lax enforcement, government pressure to lower lending standards, predatory lending, mark-to-market accounting, hedge funds, private-equity firms, modern finance theory, risk models, ‘quants,’ corporate boards, the baby boomers, flat-screen televisions, and an indulgent, undereducated populace.”
Glad to hear it isn’t too complicated. Or perhaps this is simply more evidence than needed that the wisdom of crowds is not yet at work here.