I think there are many factors getting confused in all of this, not least of all the fact that there is now a huge society that believes in its right to government hand outs whenever it hits bad times or doesn't want to work.
In Spain, you can expect unemployment benefit for around six months after you lose your job as long as the right number of contributions has been made. Or so I understand it, though I could well be wrong in the detail (as applies to the rest of the posters on this topic!) but there is no long-term incentive to the state of mind of being a professional idler. That doesn't bring work if none exists, but it sure pushes the person to try and the family to think in group terms: the best loans come from within that group.
Now, many blame banks for over-easy loans. Maybe they are correct, but I remember clearly my start in business in '66 when I was introduced to a bank manager with a view to opening business accounts separate from my personal stuff. The man said: when it's sunny we lend you an umbrella, Rob; when it rains, we want it back. That stuck with me. Is anyone buying anything large, such as cars, houses etc. really really so honestly naÔve as never to think about their ability to pay back the loans?
I think I see here a huge abrogation of personal responsibility mirrored, on the other side, by the agents who sell the mortgages, the hire-purchase deals, all of the shit that lives in never-never land. I grew up in an ethos that said: if you can't go out and pay for it, you can't afford it. I only twice bought a car on installments, both times on the 'advice' of my accountants and I regretted it on each occasion because of the nervous tension it gave me in what was always a precarious occupation. I see that as the basis of so much that's gone, and is still going, wrong. As Suzi Quatro's mum said: there is no free sex; somebody always pays.
So, do I agree with the cries of 'we didn't do it; make the banks pay' for their mistakes, greed, whatever? I'm still looking for the first guy with the right to cast the first stone. It's like complaining to a whore because you caught the crabs.