This is not to say that the old-fashioned loans weren’t foolish or that securitization is solely responsible for their woes. I’m just arguing that without the voodoo economics of securitization and the shadow-banking system, more of these old-fashioned loans would have found better customers and asset prices would never have gotten so high.

Disagree? Have at it.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.