Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) — If you and I were in a bar together, and you suffered a nasty bump on your head when I accidentally whacked you with a pool cue, there probably would be no disputing that my action caused your harm. But for my careless swing of the stick, the injury wouldn’t have happened.
Not all examples of causation are so simple. Often there is more than one cause when a person is hurt, just as there are usually multiple causes for any major historical event. This brings us to the long-running kerfuffle over the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in causing the financial crisis of 2008, which hasn’t really ended.