Contributed? Yes! Caused? Absolutely not! In order to pay those exorbitant bonuses you need exorbitant profits and those were handed to the banks, against basically nothing I would say, by the regulators, by means of amazingly low capital requirements which allowed, just as an example, a bank to lend to Greece leveraging over 60 times. If your expected risk-weighted return when lending to Greece was one percent, you could then look forward to yearly return on equity over 60 percent on that, and that is truly something to write home about… and to collect big bonuses on. The saddest part though of this crisis, and perhaps even the most expensive, might be all the opportunities which got lost forever, when banks abandoned traditional bank business, like lending to “risky” small businesses and entrepreneurs, since in that case the banks are only allowed to leverage 12 times… meaning no fun… no bonuses. Occupy Basel! http://bit.ly/dFRiMs We must stop the regulator nannies from infantilizing our banks!