That question was put to rest long ago. Brokers, realtors and appraisers and all the other parasites who have fabricated jobs out of thin air.
Stephen you are correct. It was indeed corrupt bankers who victimized the elderly, minorities, young couples looking for the American dream then lied to potential borrowers and helped & encouraged false data on loans. (Let's not forget many irresponsible buyers themselves were to blame as well.)
Also give credit to the dishonest appraisers, rating firms, lying realtors, etc. Then came the overly aggressive foreign banks and greedy hedge fund investors hoping to make 16% and up. Congress can take a bow as well.. Both Democrats and Republicans failed to have the foresight and perception to see it coming. The smartest minds in the world from Alan Greenspan on down were fooled; almost everybody was. There were many causes but the opportunity for misdeeds came on Clinton's watch when he repealed the Glass-Steagall Act.
That opened the door after 66 years.
Excerpt from Mortgage Blues site:
Clinton repeal of Glass-Steagall faulty as seen today
“. . .This issue now goes far beyond the mortgage blues of some lenders. There is no way that crazy wild-eyed mortgage brokers with lax standards could cause worldwide problems like this. President Bill Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act which had prevented the coupling of investment banking and lending. To be exact, on November 12, 1999, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. One of the effects of the repeal is it allowed commercial and investment banks to consolidate. Economists have criticized the action.
Of course economists criticized the way in which the Bush administration manufactured money by allowing anybody and everybody the opportunity to buy or refinance homes. Economist Robert Kuttner has criticized the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act as contributing to the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis.”