This write-up in Forbes about Beal Bank is pretty interesting. The owner of the bank, Andy Beal, says "Every deal done since 2004 is just stupid." Of course, the government doesn't like his ways but he and his staff could see the government guarantees and regulations for what they were:
Outsiders thought it was Beal who didn't get it. Despite its aversion to credit then, the bank occasionally had to buy mortgages to meet federal low-income-lending requirements. Jonathan Goodman, then head of loan purchases, recalls salesmen from Countrywide laughing at him on the phone when he refused to buy iffy condo paper backed by the two agencies. "Countrywide, Bank of America, Washington Mutual ... every single [mortgage seller] thought we were insane," Goodman says. "They didn't know why we cared. They thought Fannie and Freddie guarantees were as good as Treasuries."
H/T to Tom Cullis