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Worst mess since ’29

Steven Pearlstein, business columnist for the Washington Post, may not be right, but he makes sense:

What’s important to understand is that, contrary to what you heard from President Bush yesterday, this isn’t just a mortgage or housing crisis. The financial giants that originated, packaged, rated and insured all those subprime mortgages were the same ones, run by the same executives, with the same fee incentives, using the same financial technologies and risk-management systems, who originated, packaged, rated and insured home-equity loans, commercial real estate loans, credit card loans and loans to finance corporate buyouts.

It is highly unlikely that these organizations did a significantly better job with those other lines of business than they did with mortgages.

In other words, we’ve not seen the end of the financial crisis yet, not by a long shot.

You know what?  I’m actually glad we’re renting a house right now.

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