But since it was obvious early on that the government plan was to prop up the banks and pretend everything was OK until reality caught up to the fiction, blaming investment losses on one hinky component of the strategy seems iffy to me.
Based on Hartzman's own telling, his story seems to be that of a broker with an aggressive strategy who bet against a rising market and lost money for himself and some similarly aggressive clients. Meanwhile, a lot of people -- including most of Hartzman's own customers -- were making money. "I did relatively well by my clients," he says.
That's nowhere near as sexy a story as "Feds hose small-town broker and his roster of grannies and honest tradespeople." Which is the version told by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi.
Hartzman says, "I am ok with it as long as the message about the fraud gets out."
But that doesn't make it accurate.
Nor does it mean the secret loans and the withholding of information by bank execs were kosher.