Dominic Lawson has written a brilliant piece in the Independent on the root causes of the financial crisis. It is well worth reading. It castigates the belief that held sway, that risk could be predicted in complex algorhythms, so no debt was totally toxic if you counted in the risk. The smart number crunchers build more and more complex financial instruments that noone understood, least of all the Boards who were suposedly looking after shareholders interests. When panic set in, no human being would touch the debt, whatever the computers said, and the rest is a long, sorry story.