There is one thing that didn't cause the market meltdown of 2008, and that was the so-called "Community Re-Investment Act" passed under the Clinton Administration more than a decade earlier.
Similarly, we can't blame Wall Street or the Banks for making shitty "liar's loans" with nothing down and optional payments and then packaging them as grade-A mortgage-backed securities insured by reverse default credit swaps. No, no, we can't do that, as that would mean offending the donor base of the GOP.
Warren Buffet said it best:
"...there were a vast number of things that contributed to it. The basic cause, you know, embedded in psychology - partly in psychology and partly in reality in a growing and finally pervasive belief that house prices couldn’t go down and everyone succumbed –- virtually everybody succumbed to that. But that’s –- the only way you get a bubble is when basically a very high percentage of the population buys into some originally sound premise and - it’s quite interesting how that develops - originally sound premise that becomes distorted as time passes and people forget the original sound premise and start focusing solely on the price action.
So every - the media investors, the mortgage bankers, the American public, me, my neighbor, rating agencies, Congress - you name it - people overwhelmingly came to believe that house prices could not fall significantly. And since it was biggest asset class in the country and it was the easiest class to borrow against, it created probably the biggest bubble in our history." FCIC Interview of Warren Buffett, May 26, 2010
The other problem with the story is that it only appears on right-wing conspiracy sites and even then, only a few years after the Real Estate meltdown. For some reason, no one in the GOP saw this coming until it was too late, and even then, not until about three years after the nadir. Sorry, but I don't buy it. It is just a story, told to people to blame Democrats for the horrific Bush Presidency - where we invaded the wrong country, rang up a shitload of debt, and then collapsed the economy - and in the process created ISIS. Even George Bush seems embarrassed by his own Presidency. You should be too.
(And yes, Obama has rung up even more debt since then - but he inherited a destroyed economy. George Bush inherited the budget surpluses of the Clinton era. What was his excuse?)
No one put a gun to anyone's head and said, "Buy this overpriced house, even though it is cheaper to rent it!"
No one put a gun to anyone's head and said, "Take out this liar's loan with optional payments and a interest reset!"
No one put a gun to anyone's head and said, "Take out a second or third mortgage and refinance your house to pay off short-term debts!"
No one forced middle-class Americans to do these things. It was the conspiracy of 330 million people who all thought their houses were now gold mines and they were all going to be rich - without thinking about how that could work out when all their neighbors believed the same thing.
And maybe in Canada, the same thing is going on right now.