I have to pause to make a comment on someone we've been seeing a lot more on MSNBC and CNBC lately - Erin Burnett. And like a lot of pundits and loudmouths on TV, she dishes out both good points and totally unfair points.
Here, about two weeks ago, she and Jim Cramer were logical (if a little loud) and explained how banks and smaller financial institution got into trouble by selling too many mortgages (and reselling them) without due diligence or proper risk management. This is correct.
Then, last week on Morning Joe, she went into evil mode. Ms. Burnett argued that not only are the takers of bad mortgages to blame, but in-fact, we are ALL to blame for the credit crunch and economic crisis.
Paul Abrams responds: No, Erin Burnett, We Are Not "All Responsible" for this Mess
Moreover, unlike the marginal homeowner whose purchase decision was binary, either they bought a home or rented, the sellers [of mortgages] were all making money, it was a continuum, just a question of how much. Thus, they did not face the same type of decision as the marginal homeowner.
The sellers, of course, were lobbying and supported by the Republican Congress, the Bush Administration and John McCain. The marginal homeowners did not have a lobby.
Greed is very different from need, even if need turns out to be a bit of stretch.
So no, Erin, we are not all equally responsible.