"In one of his last speeches as Fed Chair, Bernanke bragged about how Fed didn't have info it needed in 2009 to say banks were solvent. How would Bernanke know? He never took significant interest in the regulatory findings, simply followed assurances of others. OCC was complicit in tolerating excesses of banks in the lead up to the Great Financial Crisis; in aftermath, teeth never shown.
Essentially, the Great Financial Crisis was result of widespread fraud on the part of sellers of 'securitized assets'. Books of banks masked huge SPE exposure. 'Opaque securities' were sold as investible quality but nothing more than mathematical approximations at time of issue. Yes, it became far more profitable to sell complex MBS risk baskets than identifiable, securitized assets
Were there villains? Of course, there were. Place to look was Wall Street. It compensated much more for selling opaque securities. Well, there's that reality, too. I've been told by more than one current and former banker that the banks tell the regulators what the rules should be.
And let's keep in mind regulators let each bank devise its own, unique value at risk model, rendering stress tests highly unreliable. The Way governments ended doubts about solvency of opaque banks was with stress tests and pledge of taxpayer funds to maintain solvency."