How much blame for the financial crisis should be placed on people like Robert Rubin, former Clinton Treasury Secretary and Citigroup chairman? A fresh look at the decisions he made:

Like many Rubin defenders, Sheryl Sandberg suspects that her mentor has become a scapegoat for events beyond comprehension.’My own view is that, look, these have been hard times, and people need people to blame,’ she says. ‘It doesn’t mean they blame the right people.’

Nassim Nicholas Taleb doesn’t know Rubin personally. He admits that his antipathy, like that of so many Rubin critics, is fueled by symbolism. ‘He represents everything that’s bad in America,’ he says. ‘The evil in one person represented. When we write the history, he will be seen as the John Gotti of our era. He’s the Teflon Don of Wall Street.’ Taleb wants systemic change to prevent what he terms the ‘Bob Rubin Problem”—the commingling of Wall Street interests and the public trust—“so people like him don’t exist.’

“Rethinking Robert Rubin.” — William D. Cohan, Bloomberg Businessweek