I have written a few articles about the real estate debacle and how it came to be. Basically the government took over the mortgage LOAN business. Banks and other financial institutions still ORIGINATED mortgages but they no longer put up the money for the loans. That was the job of a couple of Government Sponsored Enterprises(GSEs). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they are colloquially known.
It is all explained by some New York Times authors in Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. The leftist bias? They are New Your Times authors. Thus they are at least nominally arguing against interest.
This customer review nails it (and repeats what I have been saying - it was a government job).
Morgenson and Rosner have done their homework and written an in depth and hard-hitting book that reveals with perfect clarity how this mess began. It's refreshing to read a book that doesn't rehash the Wall Street stories we've all heard over and over. I'm much more interested at this point in the characters in Washington who were championing home ownership and enriching themselves as they set the stage for disaster, and who really have remained blameless up to now. The sense of outrage the authors feel comes through on every page and the book is actually a page-turner in addition to being a real narrative, unlike some of the other books on the crisis, with a beginning and an end. Great storytelling and great reporting as well. Read it!!!I'm looking forward to a time when Chris Dodd and Barney Frank become standard American villians with a reputation similar to what Joe McCarthy and his "witch hunts" once had. McCarthyism!!! Frankism? Doddism? We are going to need a snappier name.