Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where Are They Now? Seven Villains of the Financial Crisis

After the financial crisis, a lot of people were looking for someone to point the finger of blame at, but as this article from Daily Finance, there are multiple individuals that contributed to the bank collapse.

    In 2008, as the economy seemed to be in free-fall, pundits, politicians and the public cast about in search of the ultimate villain, the Wall Street weasel who could assume the blame for massive foreclosures, skyrocketing unemployment, and plummeting stock values. While the disaster was too big to pin on any single schemer, a handful of likely candidates quickly emerged.

    Some, like Ken Lewis and Jimmy Cayne, seemed merely inattentive and inept, while others like Angelo Mozilo and Fabrice Tourre appeared to be actively involved in cheating the public. Yet, whether their position was in Wall Street or Washington, the CEOs office or the analyst's desk, all seven of the people on our list carried some measure of the blame for the events of 2008.

    Two years later, most members of the class of 2008 have moved on to new jobs, cushy retirements or fresh challenges -- often involving the Securities & Exchange Commission. Yet, regardless of where they go, all seven will continue to carry the marks of 2008, the end of a ride that gave them billions in salary, yet cost them their reputations.

    Jimmy Cayne: Playing Bridge While Bear Burned

    In the two and a half years since Bear Stearns went belly up, the company's chairman of the board James E. "Jimmy" Cayne has become famous -- indeed, notorious -- for two things: smoking weed and playing cards.

    Winner of 13 national championships, Cayne is among the world's top masters at the game. In 1969, he was playing bridge professionally in New York when fellow player Alan "Ace" Greenberg hired him to be a stock broker at Bear Stearns. Over the next 32 years, Cayne rose to become president, CEO, and ultimately chairman of the company; along the way, he continued to play bridge, becoming famous both for his playing style and for the rumor that he smokes marijuana after tournaments.

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