I don’t remember much about the financial crisis. Luckily, my family were pretty financially secure so it was a case of ‘is this really happening?’ But now I’m wishing I’d paid more attention, since we’re getting so much bullshit about the causes and our own culpability from politicians these days.
So here’s the Wikipedia article. And here are a bunch of links that demonstrate the usefulness of an internet on which nothing is lost… Revisionists can’t revise the internet! The Guardian have a timeline, although their grasp of chronology is slightly suspect. Here’s an article about American causes on Market Oracle. And a timeline done in 2009 on the BBC website.
About the bailouts; a Practical Ethics (University of Oxford) article about them and the ‘fairness’ of them. A Guardian piece that points out a weakness in the bailout idea, and another, this one recent, that launches a critique of the idea.
Yes, I have read all of those links (and one hell of a lot more). And the sense I’m getting is, a load of rich people got reckless. They started making offers they didn’t understand, and because the offers sounded good and the offerers were supposed to know what they were doing, people took them up on it. Then everything went pear-shaped, and the Government somehow thought that the banks going under was worse than the consequences of mortgaging the country and of no consequences for fucking up.
Somehow, it doesn’t seem to be the fault of you and me. We were a bit irresponsible, maybe. But on the whole, we weren’t the ones with the power to stop the runaway train.
My bullshitometer has been hopping at a lot of what the Government is saying. This is one case where the internet is a blessing; we can go back and look at what people were saying at the time of the crisis, thus escaping revisionism. Trying to do this twenty years ago would have involved a very long session down at the library.