Wheel of Blame

Who should be held accountable for the economic mess we're in?

One of the beautiful things about markets is how they link people. But that also makes it tricky to figure out who causes the messes--like when assets turn out to be worth far less than advertised, credit markets seize up and panic ensues. Ideology colors any attempt to point fingers--Does regulation protect people or stifle innovation? Do companies manipulate consumers, or do individuals make decisions?--but that won't stop us from trying. There's plenty of blame to go around.

President Bush Belief in free markets is absolute in the Administration. Regulation of financial firms, a mishmash to begin with, was essentially hands...

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