It looks as though it was the sub-prime crisis. After people did a whole lot of blaming home-owners (too stupid to read and/or think about their mortgages, or else they were speculators) or the financial industry (making bad loans, giving incentives to make bad loans, lying about how bad the loans were, re-packaging loans and re-selling them in ways that were hard to track, and just plain not thinking about whether what they were doing made sense), it turns out that HUD, headed by a Bush appointee, had the information needed to see things were going wrong, brushed it off, and changed the rules to make the situation worse.
I admit this is a do-my-homework-for-me sort of thing, but is anyone tracking Bush appointees and what they're doing?
The only mercy in this situation is that it seems to be a from the top mess, and I'm hoping a lot of the appointees were too lazy to put in too many of their friends. At least it isn't a full-fledged patronage system. The other mercy is (imho) a pretty good chance that the Republicans will be out-- but even if so, that's most of a year from now.