One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent economic collapse and the ongoing financial market crisis is that there is still widespread disagreement over who or what caused it.
All too often, pundits say, “You can’t lay all the blame for our current condition on one institution or one man” and that is true, but these same commentators oftentimes skirt answering the toughest of questions about what nearly brought the whole financial system down by distributing the blame among many players and many failings.
By arguing that the entire system must be reformed, nothing ends up being changed as we see now – almost eighteen months after the worst financial market crisis since the Great Depression and there have been no substantive changes to how the financial system works.
Many argue the system has become more crisis-prone.
An even more disheartening development is that there continues to be debate about whether the most fundamental aspect of credit markets – short-term interest rates – was a major factor in precipitating the late-2008 meltdown.
As evidenced by the musings of current Fed chief Ben Bernanke in early-January, the central bank – the group that controls short-term rates – suggests that people look elsewhere for the root cause of the biggest credit bubble and bust in the history of Mankind as the nation’s central bankers did everything right in their conduct of monetary policy.
How could the central bank do everything right and then watch everything go so wrong?