"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses," George Washington, the man whose birthday we celebrate today with BIG SAVINGS, once said.
We've heard a lot of excuses in recent days from those who helped to send us spiraling into the economic mess we're in right now -- from auto executives, bankers, and even a certain former President, who alternated between denying there was a problem and blaming it all, somehow, on Bill Clinton.
But who expected the once-mighty Alan Greenspan to engage in this tawdry game of anyone-but-me?
In an interview with CNBC's David Faber, which aired last Thursday night, the erstwhile market oracle admitted he didn't understand all those fancy derivatives everyone was frantically swapping with everyone else, nor did he quite fully grasp what was happening in the subprime market.
But hey, he told Faber, back back in the midst of the bubble nobody else thought there was a problem, so how could he have known? (Never mind that one famous nobody named Warren Buffett warned way back in 2003 that derivatives were "financial weapons of mass destruction.")
And even once he grasped the problem, how could he have been expected to do anything about it? Such a thing would have been -- gasp! -- unpopular. "If we tried to suppress the expansion of the subprime market, do you think that would have gone over very well with the Congress?” Greenspan asked.
Click here for his explanation of why doing anything about the problem wouldn't have worked anyway, and how the ratings agencies are like totally the real bad guys here.
Time.com is asking readers to vote for the worst of the worst of its Top 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis. Last I checked, Greenspan was down at #17, just below "The American Consumer." I'm thinking he needs to be kicked up a couple more notches. And someone might just have to swipe his "World's Greatest Central Banker" coffee mug.