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Democratic Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama had the United States Treasury take control of General Motors while paying existing shareholders 22 cents on the dollar for their investment and claims, and not demanding any meaningful concessions from the labor unions to bring wages more in line with a competitive world standard.
The Bush administration undertook a program in which it took control of several of the largest financial institutions and government sponsored entities (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG insurance) at the heart of the crisis, forced mergers of others, purchased $125 billion of ownership in the 9 largest banks in the U.
Despite widespread misunderstanding they did not cause the great crisis since CRA loans to poor neighborhoods comprised only about 6% of the toxic mortgages.
"Option adjustable rate mortgages" (nicknamed "Pick-A-Pay") allowed borrowers to vary their monthly payments; they could be so so small they did not cover their interest charges.
S., and provided relief to the largest bank, Citigroup.