Meanwhile, opinions about Henry Potter’s character have changed over the years. In light of the housing-market crisis, the fiscally responsible banker may not have been such a bad guy after all. The loans that he tried to prevent George Bailey from handing out were essentially subprime mortgages. Mr. Potter may have just been trying to stop the poor citizens of Bedford Falls from over-leveraging themselves. Who’s the evil capitalist now?
Mr. Potter didn’t want to hand out subprime mortgages because he would have been exposed in case of loan failure. If he had been able to sell those mortgages to a company that could bundle them and resell them as “risk free” assets, everyone in Pottersville would have received a loan. Indeed, given the rules it might have been fiscally irresponsible for Potter to behave in any other way.
And this, of course: