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US Panel: Housing Crisis Was Avoidable

January 11, 2011

A 10 member Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was created to investigate the financial meltdown in the US, and they release their full report today.  There is plenty of blame to go around as you would imagine.  Regulators, politicians from both sides of the aisle, financial firms, credit rating agencies, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, Henry Paulson, the list goes on and on…all had a hand in creating the nightmarish downward spiral which hasn’t ended yet, and which resulted in such a massive reduction in wealth.  However, here is one thing we probably won’t see in this report of “who’s to blame”.  What about the regular old Joe Homebuyer, over leveraging his assets and accounts, taking out mortgage after mortgage, buying condos and homes sight unseen on the prospect of speculative appreciation, and double digit gains?  I know it could be argued that the market conditions allowed Joe to act as he did, and that is the fault of the financial regulators, who did anything BUT regulate, and with that point I agree.  But some of the blame has to go to all the builders, speculative buyers, and investors too.  You can’t just blame this all on the banks and government…let’s take some responsibility for our actions people!

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