While assigning blame for things is rarely productive, Time's interactive list of the 25 people to blame for the financial crisis ("The good intentions, bad managers, and greed behind the meltdow") is actually a pretty handy tool, for two reasons: the illuminating mini-profiles of the people who-blame aside-were the wrenches in the gears of this catastrophic machine failure, and the nuanced selection of who was included on the list. To wit: in addition to the nefarious bank managers and questionable loan operators, people like Alan Greenspan, ex-Security and Exchange Commission chief Chris Cox, and you, the American consumer, all make the cut. The whole setup is a bit inflammatory-from the Usual Suspects-esque police lineup to the "guilty" to "innocent" interactive ratings scale-but it's hard to blame a poor newsweekly for trying to get some attention these days. Plus, it's really just about understanding who to hold accountable. At the top of the list right now? Phil Gramm, the former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee from which so much of our bad financial regulation (or deregulation, as the case may be) was born.
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