Confused on the origins of this Wall Street crisis?

Depending on who you talk to, America might be in the midst of a Wall Street crisis, Main Street crisis, credit crisis, subprime mortgage crisis, or some other dire-sounding crisis. But how many consumers really know what this means or how we got here?

If you ask someone like felon-turned-fraud-investigator Barry Minkow, the situation's primary roots are in those who lied to get mortgages on properties. They got caught up in the hype of owning a home or investing in real estate, and were willing to lie in order to get their mortgages approved. But don't think he's letting Wall Street off the hook. A lot happened there which contributed heavily to the mess we're in now.

Today I found an article that probably gives the most straightforward explanation of the entire situation to date. Mike Flynn, director of government affairs at the Reason Foundation, reminds us all that while Wall Street is having fits, our economy as a whole still isn't doing all that bad. Our economy is still growing, even if it's at a very slow rate, and unemployment is contained at just over 6%. That's in contrast to the Great depression, in which the country's economic output had fallen dramatically and unemployment was extremely high.