People speculated – made dumb, greedy decisions – from financial institution executives to homeowners, and are about to be shielded from the consequences of those decisions while those who acted responsibly are going to pick up the tab for many years to come. If you can handle rising blood temperature, go read this excellent, short narrative by Jim Manzi which lays out the history in understandable terms.
What will be essential is that … The ultimate resolution assures that prior investors in these financial institutions and their executives bear very large financial penalties. Irresponsible homeowners should as well. Expect big political battles over the definition of “irresponsible.”