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Credit Crunch

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"It started in America ... honest mister!" G. Brown

The inevitable consequence of more than a decade of socialism and associated pathetic pandering to bankers?

No. More the inevitable consequence of rampant consumerism caused by the banks giving credit to people who should never have been given credit. Socialism really can't be blamed for this one - except that a nominally socialist government took credit for the short-term growth that the rampant credit boom created.

... Oh but it was, and it can:

Of course, it began in the States.

Any discussion of the financial crisis without mention of the Carter era "Communities Reinvestment Act", which was put on steroids by Clinton, is purely dishonest.

The CRA mandated that banks and lending institutions had to give mortgages to people who they would not have touched with a barge pole unless forced, on pains of being called racist and being sued.

To try to limit their exposure to these federally mandated bad loans, the clever chaps came up with all the exotic financial products which repackaged these loans, to spread the risk around a bit, and make some money on the side.

This was fine in a bull market with ever increasing house prices, and frankly can you blame them from trying to make as much money as they possibly could out of what was objectively a bad deal that the government had mandated through regulation, while the going was good?

Unfortunately, a house price fall causes the whole house of cards to collapse and all the Marxist nutters come back out of the woodwork, claiming that it is the fault of the banks who, let's face it, did not want to make these loans in the 1st place.

So the current "crisis" is not due to "unregulated capitalism" (I never said it was...), it is the unintended consequence of regulation forcing financial companies into doing something that, had the regulation not been there, they would not have been doing at all.