unlike other big financial scandals such as Enron and the savings and loan crisis, the perpetrators are not a cadre of easy-to-finger folks in the executive suite.
Instead, they're everywhere in the mortgage food chain. Borrowers who lied about their income, mortgage brokers who flogged risky loans, appraisers who inflated home values, lenders that originated dicey mortgages, Wall Street firms that packaged them as securities and sold them, ratings firms that said those were safe investments - many participants in the market pushed the envelope, or, in some cases, may have committed outright fraud.
The one clear culprit is greed, a culture of consumerism that led countless people to seek a quick buck in the go-go real estate market of the past decade.
UPDATE: If you are interested in keeping up with news on mortgage fraud, check out this blog maintained by a California attorney and Certified Mortgage Banker.