Securitization and deregulation, growth of the global economy, concentration of subprime loans, views of homeownership, perception of homes as a source of profit as opposed to long-term investment, predatory lending, discrimination, and risk-taking all contributed to the crisis. Immergluck, Katz, and Andrews provide a multi-faceted explanation of the meltdown (with each taking a slightly different approach to analyze the crisis) that illustrates its complexity. The housing crisis is not just the result of a single bad actor or a series of bad actors, but represents the byproduct of systemic changes in our financial system and the global economy. While systems changed, our regulatory approaches to assuring fair housing did not. This mismatch helps us understand why regulations like the Community Reinvestment Act (and other laws and regulations) were not sufficient in a lending environment that had gone through profound changes. How could even basic regulations like CRA stem the crisis, when most lenders spreading subprime loans throughout marginalized communities were not subject to regulation by the law?
In this global economic age, our economic systems are complex and dynamic, and as such, solutions to the current housing crisis need to respect this. We must be diligent to create policy responses that can quickly adapt and adjust to the ever changing global economy. Our complex systems also mandate a continued assertive role for government in maintaining stability and assuring sustainability in housing and lending (as well as other facets of our economy and society).