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The global credit bubble and its bursting during the first decade of the twenty-first century set off a search for the culprits. The investigation is fundamentally historical rather than criminal. The actions and flaws of institutions and individuals are coming under scrutiny. The investigators are also turning to wider social and economic forces which in combination might have been responsible for the disaster.
A search for the causes of economic and financial breakdown has some similarity with the pursuit of the blame for the eruption of war. The analogy is only partial because investigations into the breakdown of peace can lead to indictments of war guilt. The identified person or organisation could be due for punishment (sometimes posthumously in a purely hypothetical court process) for crimes against humanity or lesser charges. Crime and punishment are not at issue in the investigation of the economic debacle.