Yet major newspapers did not report on the voluntary program's adoption in 2004, which the Times now trumpets as a turning point. (The Journal ran an eight-paragraph piece on Page C4.)And honestly there were so many other things to be outraged about in 2004! The fact that serious business and finance journalism is written in opaque for-experts-by-experts style certainly helped the crisis along. The fact that the first real attempt at populist entertaining business journalism was the fact-free Bud Lite-sponsored happy hour that is Fox Business is obviously indicative of the larger problem here, which is that no one understood that the nation's economy was built on a house of cards except for the people who didn't care, the people who constructed the house of cards, and Ron Paul. So we understand the crisis through an unhelpful lens of politics—we can explain the political machinations behind the bailout bill, yes, but is it good or bad policy? Paul Krugman says it's bad-but-necessary, or something. What a cop-out! The People are actually to blame, yes; the stupid people who didn't pay attention to the terms of their loans and lived outside their means and gambled everything away while gorging themselves on bacon-wrapped shrimp at Red Lobster. Except who were the ones pushing the "ownership society," giving huge incentives for homeownership to people who shouldn't own homes, never providing anything but misleading information, convincing themselves that housing prices would never ever ever fall? Both political parties, two presidents, and all the respectable press. There was a dereliction of duty by everyone in the nation responsible for serving the public trust, which certainly used to mean journalists too. It took Time until March of this year to explain credit default swaps, but at least they did explain it in March. And now we're probably in for another corrective period, in which like after the Lewinsky free-for-all and the credulous lead-up to the Iraq war, the press will spend a self-flagellating year promising to do better in the future. When honestly all they need to do is edit the business section so we can understand it and move that shit to the front page every now and then.