This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
The point about all these stories and the anti-capitalist protests is to deflect attention from the real causes.
The real culprit is government.
Government is meant to regulate and in the case of mortgages in general and the banking crisis in particular, failed catastrophically.
But it is far easier to blame greedy fatcats than accept responsibility themselves.
Government and the Civil Service, are also too intent on gorging at the trough themselves to want the focus on them.
Companies sometimes have no options but to follow certain paths in the absence of proper regulation; they have a legal duty to their shareholders.
We have seen this before in the case of apartheid. It raised the question of ethical investments and it required the shareholders to stand up and give very clear directions about what were acceptable investments.
In the case of arms trading the government did adopt an "ethical stance" but violated its own declared position.
So if there are profits to be made in sub prime mortgages and no guidance from the regulators, what are they to do?
OK, it is simplistic.
Even the lay person could see the problems with 120% mortgages and self certified income..... but the government could not or would not and did not intervene (though I understand the US government may have made some belated moves to investigate mortgages) and with good reason; allowing ridiculous mortages pushed property prices higher and higher and the valuation of the country's net worth includes property values.
To allow the property prices to collapse would make this country far less of a good debt risk than otherwise.
Of course, if a business group artificially inflated its asset value they'd all be in jail by now.
This does however illustrate the harm that information can do. For all the boardroom types who are below the average can use the information to justify getting paid above the average. For we all know, all executive types are genuinely above-average types, aren't they? That could easily lead to an across-the-boardroom average pay increase of 49% a year.