Mark Thoma once believed that there wasn't any single villain causing the financial crisis. But as he's watched the crisis unfold and realized that at every step the incentives were set wrong and that every single "self-regulating" market failed, he has come to the conclusion there actually is a villain. Now he sees that someone was working to make sure all those incentives were wrong and those markets failed.
So more and more I'm starting to thing there may be a single explanation after all, that the regulators of these markets were captured by powerful forces that wanted the game to continue.
Indeed, until the power of the oligarchy is broken, nothing can get better. And Mark says, Simon Johnson's call to break the power of the too powerful by putting in place anti-trust regulations has his support. (Talk about oligarchs: Simon Johnson was surprised to hear Thomas Hoenig, President of the Kansas City Fed, actually call the defenders of the too-big-to-fail financial system oligarchs. It seems this word is coming back in vogue.)