Burns, the former Treasury permanent secretary, criticised the banking regulation that he had - reluctantly - helped to introduce when Labour came to power in 1997.
Burns said the tripartite structure covering the Bank of England, the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority, had not properly overlapped - with the result that failed business models in British banking were not spotted. He also said the system was insufficiently transparent and in the initial stages of the crisis led to uncertainty of responsibility.
He said the tighter system of bank regulation in Spain had been far more effective in controlling dangerous expansion and regulating off balance sheet securities, the source of the much of the British banking crisis. His remarks to a Lords economic affairs committee will add to the pressure on the prime minister as he dodges to avoid being made culpable for the banking crisis.
The failures will not go away - and they were highlighted again this week by what happened at HBOS. There lack of communication between the FSA and the Treasury over repeated warnings concerning the bank.
At one point, he sounded wistful of the arrangements that had been in place before. " I look back to the world when it was just the Treasury and the Bank of England. It had been working for a very long time.
"At every level of the two organisations, people met on a very regular basis and if there were differences of opinion, a sense of accommodation was reached usually relatively quickly. Having a third member into this seems, if anything, to have slowed down the process in the early stages of cooperation."
He also criticised the lack of transparency in the new system, saying the process was obscure and adding that it would help if the minutes of the senior tripartite committee were published. He also doubted if the committee often met.
The decision to take the issue of City regulation away from the Bank, he said, meant it was hard to staff up two institutions to have the skills and the background waiting for when a crisis started to build.
Burns is neither an oracle, or a totally neutral observer. But it will be No 10's concern that as the recession unwinds, and two select committee inquiries complete their reports into British banking supervision, the issues he raised will gain ever wider currency.
If Brown could only admit some role in the emergence of the crisis, he would be in a stronger political position. But so long as he suggests a perfect regulatory system was struck down purely by a US contagion, the criticisms of authoritative figures such as Burns will ring ever louder come election time.
And who was Chancellor during that period? Yup, do-nothing Gordon. Is he in denial about his own culpability, or does he really believe he did nothing wrong?