Lets get some things straight before you got off the wall.
There is much I want to say on this topic but I wont since thinking about simply makes me want to kill a lot of Wall Street bankers. I find it even more distressing that they will not be terminating all the executives responsible for the fiasco and bringing them up on criminal charges for fiduciary violations. Moreover any institution help (which I'm soundly against) should have the compensation packages severely capped to about $100,000 maximum for anyone.
I do agree with this paragraph. Its insane that the current methodology for high-end positions allow for people to screw a company over royally and get off scot free (usually even better off than before). Based on your comments you're obviously one of those types who has never done any research into why it is that way (and there is a reason), so I'd encourage you to look into that.
I won't respond to the stories, suffice to say I suspect your cousin was like most American's in that situation, unable to adjust his standards of living to meet his new needs. And for reference, I had similar situation happen to an Uncle and Aunt. Uncle took a nose dive off a bike that decided to go from 60 to 0 in an instant and my Aunt couldn't get a job to take over the lack of his income as well as his medical bills. Instead she sold (rented originally, sold it later on) their house, moved to Nowheresville Indiana where she could afford a cheap house on a cheap paycheck and slowly but surely nursed my Uncle back into as normal as he wasn going to be.
Also the de-regulation that caused some of the problems associated with the current crisis was not laid solely at the feet of the Republicans. Hell, people are quick to point out that Clinton had no power to veto the GLB Act, but they conviently ignore the fact that Clinton personally (as well as his administration) made it possible for the Citigroup merger which brought about the GLB Act in the first place. Not to mention the GLB Act was passed with an overwhelming majority in the House and Senate, which isn't even possible without strong support on both sides.
There are people making millions a day for bullshit work hours and paying nearly nothing in taxes and average guys losing everything due to situations beyond their control. It is simply gut wrenching to say the least.
You make more money, you pay more taxes, that is how it works. You may like to think otherwise, or argue against it, but that is how it works. Now, I'm not so naive as to believe the rich don't do everything in their power to aovid paying taxes, but they will pay more than Middle/Lower-class do as long as they aren't breaking the law.
The republicans yell "let the market take care of itself" all the time, at least throughout my entire life and yet every time the market is poised to strip wealthy families of much of their assets there is always a "national interest" need argument proposed, at the public's expense that it is time the government step in and save industries (but without tight control attached). What about all the little guys who lost everything over the past several decades of this crazy wild west deregulation period? Who will help them? Seems to me they are the ones that we have a national interest in protecting not these guys who make more in a week then most entire families will make in a couple generations.
Get off the crack. The "de-regulation" binge was only recent thanks to the GLB Act. Banks and Finacial Instituations have long been regulated do (mostly) to the Glass-Steagall Act put forth during the Great Depression. Yeah, the big GD, as in 1930s. The GLB Act, which changed the status quo, only came into effect in the late 90s. Besides, no matter how you look at it the little guy is protected by other programs that are still in place (such as the FDIC), as usually they sink or swim on their own stupidity.
On a side note, I'm a firm believer in anything that is required by law needs to NOT be privately owned or controlled. There is simply an inherent conflict of interest that I can never get over when I think about such shit.
How does this relate in any way to the current crisis? There are numerous factors to blame, sure, but the primary factor (which no one will admit too, damn lack of personal responsibility in the present) is incredibly stupid people taking incredibly stupid loans. You can argue that the GLB Act made it possible for banks to offer those loans, but that doesn't mean those idiots had to accept the loans. And when those people started crashing, it caused the rest of the real estate market to dive which led to the current issue at hand.
Also, where in the world is it law to give out a mortgage?