Are you a taxpayer?

The great and the good of capitalism were holding a requiem dinner for the global financial system at a secret hideaway:

“If the interest rates hadn’t been so low, we wouldn’t be in this mess!” said the bond trader, “I blame the central banks!”

“We told you that you were under-pricing risk,” said the central banker, “I blame the mortgage lenders!”

“We were forced to take on more borrowers just to stay in the game” said the mortgage lender, “I blame all those derivatives products!”

“We were promoting efficiency by allowing you to spread your risks,” said the structured-finance specialist, “I blame the ratings companies!”

“We relied on the computer models that the banks helped us build,” said the credit-rating assessor, “I blame the wholesale markets funding it!”

“We relied on money-markets because the savings deposits weren’t high enough,” said the commercial banker. “I blame the regulators!”

“We allowed you to maximize shareholder returns,” said the regulator. “I blame those greedy investors!”

“We were trying to fund the retirements of thousands in a collapsing market” said the pension-fund manager. “I blame the hedge funds!”

“We had nobel prize winners on staff,” said the hedge-fund manager, “I blame the irrationality of ordinary man.”

Just then, the waiter arrived with the bill.

“Are you a taxpayer?” asked the central banker.

The waiter nodded.

“We were hoping you would foot the bill.”

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