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November 6, 2011

Lies, Damn Lies and Banker Lies

“What Caused the Financial Crisis?  The Big Lie Goes Viral,” is the simple, straightforward title for an outstanding must-read column in today’s Washington Post by Barry Ritholtz (author of Bailout Nation):

“Wall Street[‘s] … Big Lie is that banks and investment houses are merely victims of the crash. You see, the entire boom and bust was caused by misguided government policies. It was not irresponsible lending or derivative or excess leverage or misguided compensation packages, but rather long-standing housing policies that were at fault.”

“[T]he arguments these folks make fail to withstand even casual scrutiny. But that has not stopped people who should know better from repeating them.”

They should know better because facts — not opinions, purchased research, lobbyist spin, self-serving bankers statements, front group “studies,” ideological allies and the like — prove them to be wrong, utterly, totally, completely wrong.  He then cogently goes through 12 numbered facts related to the actual causes of the financial crisis.  Read them here.  

True, with the amount of money being made and to be made off the BIG LIE, not like the facts are going to be all that important to so many whose economic interests depend on the BIG LIE.  That’s why he observes, “Here is the surprising takeaway: They are winning. Thanks to the endless repetition of the Big Lie.”

But, for anyone not on the payroll of Wall Street and its allies, facts should matter and Barry does a nice job of presenting and summarizing most of the key ones. 

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