For those of you who are confused at this moment on what exactly went fucking wrong with our economy, it can be summed up with the title of this post: Greed.
In a nutshell, when these people at the top realized that their house was built of fog and sand, didn't do the sensible thing. The sensible thing would have been to turn around and immediately run from these investments as fast as possible or fix them, but they didn't because of greed. Instead they did the most insidious thing possible... they took them and rolled them into the market. Knowing full well when the shit really hit the fan, much like the S&L scandal, the government would swoop in and save their asses.
Only, they didn't count on our government being in a massive financial crunch and that it might possibly not have the resources to bail their dumb shit asses out of the mess they've made.
So, here we are. The dollar is tumbling like it's going out of style and the Fed is at best acting reactively to try to stop the hemorrhaging. Personally, I'm not sure they'll be able.
At this point, I'm looking for asses to nail to the wall and I'm writing my senator asking that they immediately start questioning people like the head of Country Wide Mortgage and asking questions like "When exactly did you and your VP's know that these loans were a ticking time bomb?"
Considering that Country Wide Mortgage is a publicly held company, at a minimum these guys can expect lawsuits from shareholders who feel they've failed their fiduciary responsibilities.
What I find even more absurd is the idea that people were convinced the market was never going to correct itself. I'm not an investor by any stretch of the imagination and I knew that eventually people were going to look around and say "Geez, giving a 350,000 dollar loan to a guy who makes minimum wage seems like a really bad idea!"
Ultimately, I believe a lot of these people really didn't care. They took the path of "Well, if it really gets fucked up, the government can save us, so we might as well play as wide and fast as we can and make as much money as we possible before the whole shit house comes down on us!"