I think the real issue here, once again, is that if you offer government protection on investments, you have to regulate what is done with the money.
When the deregulated S&Ls, some of them went out of control and then went bust, in ways that were predictable. The taxpayer lost. For the most part, the bank executives won (with a few exceptions of blatant lawbreaking).
Most of the subprime and almost all of the "toxic" semi-prime mortgages were not held by the mortgage brokers and lenders, but packaged and resold, most with quasi government protection (via Fannie and Freddy), and even the worst are being protected by the Fed bailout. (I would help homeowners who could pay a reasonably priced mortgage on fair value on their homes who were sold misleading mortgages directly at the expense of those who invested in these mortgages.)
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