The federal bank bailouts and financial crisis are hot topics currently on the minds of many. Regarding the topic, it seems like every day we hear more excuses from CEOs. However, taxpayers are becoming fed up with big banks and the lies they are telling. MSN Money published a great article this morning highlighting the five most common lies big banks are telling us all and I highly recommend reading their full list here.
It's tough to head off the next disaster if you don't understand why the last one happened -- an insight that's apparently lost on Wall Street.
Instead, as I watch banker after banker being grilled on how the mortgage mess happened, they seem to repeat a lot of the excuses I've heard for more than a year. Such as "No one knew." Or "It was everyone else's fault."
Although there's a little truth in each excuse, no excuse is completely honest. "If we're going to avoid these mistakes, it really starts with an honest assessment of what's happened," says Phil Angelides, the head of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, an investigative panel charged with identifying to causes of the credit crisis.
The excuses also muddy the waters at a critical time. The nation is just starting to recover from the meltdown. Financial reform has finally taken center stage in Washington. We need to know what truly went wrong to keep this from happening again.
Big lie No. 1: No one could have known
Consider this scenario: You work at the top of a key bank on Wall Street. You hire the smartest guys from the best schools. You get paid big bucks to know your business better than anyone else. And warning signs are everywhere. When it goes bad, can you really say you didn't know?