What collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps (and other financial exotica) have done, instead of just spreading around the risk, has been to mask underlying risk to the point where no one knows how much risk they’re exposed to. Uncertainty gives way to fear. Fear gives way to panic.
There have been many over the last few days (weeks?) to observe that we have a need for leadership. But when one of the things we have lost faith in is the ability of our leaders, to whom do we turn?