The broad condemnation of all of Wall Street and all CEOs is a dumb oversimplification. The CEOs are so far above the traders that the have literally no idea what they are doing, other than the periodic P&L reports. The managers have only a small clue what the traders are up to, because the traders are all specialists in complex esoteric products. The traders themselves have very little understanding about the nature or the overall credit quality of the underlying loans of MBS, because they have pooled into bundles of several hundred loans by FNMA or Freddie. The traders at FNMA and FHLMC are given the loans as they request them, and they, too, don't send a lot of time examining the individual loans. The guys who issue the loans may be at fault, but they don't make a hell of a lot of money to begin with. I am thinking about writing a detailed essay about this, but I can tell you this: Most of these guys DESERVED the high payout when they were making money when it worked. A lot of people with math degrees from MIT went down to work there. The problem is that when it spun out of control, it was too big and too complex for any one person to get his mind around.
Your reply makes no sense. Looks like you are trying to protect your own profession, the one that got us in this fix.
If a “lot of people with math degrees from MIT went down to work there (Wall Street)”, they would have known that a Ponzi scheme based at its lowest layers of the pyramid on mortgages that in no way could have been paid is mathematically unsound. It was the managers’ responsibility to check and verify the “overall credit quality of the underlying loans” if they were selling products based on them. No, they knew, but greed was more important. They hoped to take the money and run before anyone found out. For a lot of them (and you??) it worked. That’s why the rest of us will have to pay for their (your?) excesses and greed.
In any other business these people would be in court (civil and/or criminal) for this behavior. Not worrying about “the overall credit quality of the underlying loans” is no different than not worrying about the undelying quality of the collapsed Minneapolis bridge’s gusset plates, or the undelying quality of the Challenger’s solid rocket seals, or the underlying quality of the US intelligence prior to the Iraq war.
Nice try. Your former co-workers should be in jail, not their mansions in the Hamptons.