Wall St Crash: What you reap is what you sow

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

The respected Joseph Stiglitz weighs in on the financial crisis:

Houses of cards, chickens coming home to roost - pick your cliche.
The new low in the financial crisis, which has prompted comparisons
with the 1929 Wall Street crash, is the fruit of a pattern of
dishonesty on the part of financial institutions, and incompetence on
the part of policymakers.

We had become accustomed to the
hypocrisy. The banks reject any suggestion they should face regulation,
rebuff any move towards anti-trust measures - yet when trouble strikes,
all of a sudden they demand state intervention: they must be bailed
out; they are too big, too important to be allowed to fail.

Eventually,
however, we were always going to learn how big the safety net was. And
a sign of the limits of the US Federal Reserve and treasury's
willingness to rescue comes with the collapse of the investment bank
Lehman Brothers, one of the most famous Wall Street names.