subprime/foreclosure crisis sponsored by the New America Foundation.
Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, a consumer watchdog that tracks predatory lending and the financial industry, was telling how for years the financial establishment would tell he and his colleagues that too much of their tinkering or regulating would have an unintended consequence: It was likely to dry up credit for well-deserving people who just wanted to buy a house.
Stein said the financial industry would always tell lawmakers that those consumer watchdogs meant well, that they had their heart in the right place, but.....their ideas would cause a clampdown in credit availability that would hurt good borrowers.
Well, Stein said, regulations weren't passed and the financial industry did a huge explosive burst of lending, to one and all, fueling one of the biggest housing booms ever seen.
And when the boom ended and the foreclosures began, a very spooked and sobered financial industry cracked down on credit, drying it up with new restrictions - the very thing they said consumer groups would cause if allowed to prevail.
With all due respect to consumer groups and financial firms, I am somehow reminded of that song for little kids: "The wheels of the bus go round and round."