Who Killed the Economy?

Since America’s economy is still growing and our living standards are far above the vast majority of people in other developed nations, any game entitled “Who Killed the Economy” is guilty of overstatement. But setting aside that small detail, Portfolio.com has an amusing interactive game that allows you to choose, via an NCAA-style bracket, who is responsible for America’s economic woes.

Sadly, there is no entry for Congress, Democrats in Congress, or Republicans in Congress, but there are plenty of good choices. Even though I think Greenspan and Bernanke probably deserve to win because of their easy-money policies, I decided to award first place to Fannie and Freddie because they are such loathesome examples of how subsidies and favoritism distort markets and harm growth. They may not cause the same amount of damage to overall economic performance as politically-pliable central bank governors, but I graded on a most-damage-per-size basis.