The following series of videos from The Real News Network is one of the best comprehensive explanations of the current financial crisis that I have come across. The interviewed guest is William Black who was a regulator during the 1980's Savings and Loan Crisis and is now an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. His expertise is in the area of white collar crime, finance, and control fraud, ie. the use of power by government and business elites to perpetuate fraud. I encourage you to click the link above for his bio on Wikipedia. In these videos he focuses on fraud by banks as the major contributing factor in the recent crisis. He also highlights the role the government is playing, both the current and prior administrations, in perpetuating the fraud for the benefit of the banks and to the detriment of the taxpayer. Very enlightening if you're prepared to devote the time to watch.
A word about the source. In a quick perusal of the website that originated these videos, my impression is that The Real News Network promotes a decidedly left leaning opinion, and I'd be reluctant to align myself with their views on other topics of interest to conservatives. But the public's response to this financial turmoil we are in today seems to cross ideological barriers. It seems nobody likes fraud and government collusion with big business. We may have some common cause with liberals on these issues. Who'd a thunk it?