In a wide ranging conversation with Fortune magazine the President was asked about his intervention in corporate America:
I did not invite the crises that I inherited, and I have always believed that our role as lawmakers is not to stifle the market, but to strengthen its ability to unleash creativity and innovation. But I also have a responsibility to take aggressive action to avoid an even deeper recession and to move this nation toward recovery. History has shown repeatedly that when nations do not take early and aggressive action to get credit flowing again, they have crises that last for many years instead of many months. My hope is that by taking the steps we are taking today, from stabilizing our financial system to helping our auto industry restructure to become more competitive, it will help speed the day that the government can get out of the way and let the private sector do what it does best - innovate, create jobs, and grow the economy.The interview with Nina Easton is a great executive summary of the President's view as to how the American economy was driven to ruin, and his vision of how we will bring it back. Good Read.
The truth is that there is plenty of blame to go around. Many Americans took out loans that they could not afford. Others were enticed into loans they did not understand by lenders trying to make a quick profit. Investment banks bought and packaged these questionable mortgages into securities, arguing that by pooling the mortgages, the risks had been reduced. Credit agencies stamped these securities with their safest rating when they should have been labeled "Buyer Beware." And as the bubble grew, there was almost no accountability or oversight from anyone in Washington.