The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission released it final report to Congress today (01/27/10) and put the blame for the crisis on Wall Street online prescription drugs without a prescription and the Federal Government.
That’s a shocker! The United States has been selling leverage for decades. The Clinton administration pressed Fannie and Freddie to loosed lending guidelines so everyone could live the American dream of home ownership. The Bush administration deregulated Wall Street, allowing for near criminal lending practices. The rating agencies rated subprime mortgages triple-A for compensation. The Federal Reserve Board lowered interest rates close to 0%. Financial institutions (i.e. big banks and Wall Street) created mortgage programs like 100% non owner no doc loans and taught 20 year old loan officers how to make a fortune selling them to the public. And the public, seeing rapidly appreciating home prices, and soaring bank stock prices, had to join the party.
Of course the financial crisis was avoidable. As long as there is greed, there will be financial crises; and we will do it all over again. Right now, the newly appointed members of Congress are working to unwind financial reform. Why, because it is not good for profits.