Wall Street Was Ponzi Scheme
Both Paul Krugman and Tom Friedman have written columns along the lines that the whole Wall Street bubble over subprime mortgages, derivatives, credit default swaps, etc., was just like Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. There was no “there” there. It was all smoke and mirrors. The money went to the people who came up with the schemes to sell worthless paper; they did not create any productive activity. The salesmen just got their commissions up front, before people realized that they were selling worthless paper, illustrated by this Washington Post article about AIG’s descent into chaos.