The federal government was responsible for all of these. Congress blames greedy capitalists, but if the gold supply at Fort Knox is left unsecured and the fact is publicized, the bad decision is primarily at fault, and the greedy folks who take the gold are just opportunists doing what comes naturally.
The Community Reinvestment Act passed in 1977. Every president since then has used it to increase the percentage of home ownership, then made it a campaign statement that they were helping Americans to achieve the American dream.
The problem was that any loan that was denied was denied because of "racism." Banks were threatened with federal lawsuits under the Civil Rights Act. The banks complied and got the bad loans off their balance sheets as quickly as possible -- consolidated debt obligations sold to taxpayers (Fannie & Freddie).
The "first-time home buyer" program hoped to reduce the glut of foreclosed homes, but most buyers wanted new homes in better neighborhoods.
Congress passed the Troubled Assets Relief Program and the stimulus plan. This rewarded political supporters and banks that "lost" money. Local "shovel-ready projects" were funded all at once to stimulate the economy. Work scheduled for years was completed in months. Hundreds of jobs were created at Savannah River Site for expedited cleanup. That bubble has burst.
The "cash for clunkers" program got inefficient vehicles off the roads while stimulating the automobile industry. Since American taxpayers are part-owners with unions of automobile manufacturers such as General Motors, this sounded like a good idea.
Alternative energy companies -- wind, solar, wave, geothermal -- were heavily subsidized by taxpayers, while carbon-based energy was threatened with carbon taxes, moratoriums on drilling and stagnation in the permitting process. Our national security is at risk because our wealth has been and is being transferred to our enemies. The Environmental Protection Agency has deemed humans as polluters since the breath that we exhale is carbon dioxide.
Subsidies to financial institutions selling student loans were reduced, and the federal government took over the student loan business. This is like the "single-payer" system favored by Democrats under Obamacare. Drive out private insurers and nationalize Medicare for everyone.
Lotteries have created bubbles by "free" tuition increasing demand while supply grew more slowly. Colleges increased tuition by as much as 200 percent or more of the inflation tax, and competition from other lotteries reduced the amounts available for scholarships. Only 56 percent of graduates found jobs vs. 90 percent a decade before.
The default rate on student loans -- particularly with for-profit online universities and loans needed to pay the increased tuition -- will put taxpayers deeper in debt.
Welcome to the centrally-planned and centrally-controlled economy! A Constitution and a free-market economy made America great. Central planning is destroying it!