The Crooked Deals That Made This Financial Meltdown Inevitable

Here's what went wrong.

Almost every weekend for the last month, there has been an extra-ordinary announcement from the financial world and the White House. The financial system is rattling apart, and while the poor card player may blame his cards, the expert knows when there has been a crooked deal.

From nationalizing the mortgage market by taking over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, to the bankruptcy of Lehman brothers, to the demand that Congress write a bottomless blank check to Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson to bail out the investment bank he once ran, and others like it. But in this whirlwind there has been almost no explanation of why there is a sudden rush to do something.

Here's an overview of how this happened.

Lack of Investment Supply