AlterNet: How Wall Street's Scam Artists Turned Home Mortgages Into Economic WMDs:
The alphabet soup of exotic investments that represent the immediate cause of the banking mess is so complex that many of those 'innovative' financiers responsible for bringing the global economy to the brink of collapse are now making a fortune in consulting fees explaining just what the hell it is that they created. According to the Financial Times, Robert Reoch, the London banker who may be responsible for creating the first of the now-infamous debt-based securities, is now 'swamped by investors who want to extricate themselves from derivatives-linked messes, or simply to understand the products that came out of the past few years of intense financial innovation.' The Washington Post reported that Joe Cassano, the financial products manager 'whose complex investments led to (AIG's) near collapse,' is raking in $1 million per month in consulting fees from the ailing financial giant to help sort out the toxic sludge on (and off) the bank's books.
Bring back the building societies, I say.