"Don't get me wrong, I understand synthetic derivatives and CDO's, but that's just a secondary market that negatively impacted wall street firms, not individual homeowners. The basic problem is that people were approved for mortgages that they couldn't afford."
I don't want to oversimplify it, but pressure from two branches of federal government was not the reason unqualified homeowners were given mortgages, as was the "spin" among many POLITICAL analysists post-bail out.
Greed within the finanacial markets did that, and that secondary derivitive market was THE vehicle for accelerating the process straight through to the taxpayer bail out. Subprimes were fuel for a speeding locomotive. As more speed was demanded, financial players couldn't churn them out fast enough.
Don't forget the savings and loan crisis, with it's LBOs and junk bonds, and THAT taxpayer bail out.
That's my read.
"The protesters should be sitting outside the White House or Congress"
As far as where to protest, I'd pick Congressional offices. And for that to be effective, it must be LOCAL folks at their LOCAL offices.
I know when the bail out was originally proposed in 2008, I actually stopped at Congessman Kucinich's Lakewood office and gave my urging for a no vote. I didn't carry a sign. I just walked in, politely and with a smile. And he did vote no, INITIALLY.