A compressed portrayal of US failures evident in the current crisis may arise from the following list of representations:
(A) firms: Countrywide, Fannie Mae, AIG, Citigroup, Moody’s, Lehman Brothers, General Motors;
(B) industries: mortgage origination, mortgage finance, insurance, commercial banking, rating agencies, investment banking, automobile manufacturing and finance;
(C) regulators: state mortgage, insurance and banking overseers; Federal Housing Finance Agency; Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Federal Reserve, Treasury, Office of Comptroller of the Currency; Federal Deposit Insurance Commission;
(D) lawmakers: Congress, Congress, Congress, Congress, Congress.
What representations do not appear on this list? Deloitte Touche et al, the auditing industry, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Three cheers.