It's a bit of an oversimplification to blame reckless lending on the bankers' incentive mechanism. If you wanted to be in the lending market at all in 2007 you had to accept risky loans and low margins. Few in any profession would have been brave enough to say that they wanted to be excluded from their own market. You can forgive some of the borrowers for naivety or pressure from salesmen to borrow more than they should - can we forgive our own government as well for borrowing far more than it could realistically afford to repay? The truth is that there prevailed a culture of easy money and living beyond our means. Easy to point the finger at some of the overpaid investment bankers in the City and Wall Street than look closer to home at the politicians who were encouraging them to lend to sub-primes to create a home-owning "American dream" democracy.