Former BB&T Corp. Chief Executive John Allison told Birmingham business leaders that banks were not primarily responsible for the financial crisis that left the nation's economy teetering in 2008.
In a speech, Allison conceded that banks made irresponsible loans that inflated the sub-prime lending bubble, but he said that bankers weren't the chief culprits of the crisis. He said government agencies were pressuring the lending industry to make risky loans.
He singled the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and government-backed mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for blame.
After his speech, the Kiwanis Club audience gave (Allison) a standing ovation. Several people came up to him afterward and asked why he hasn't run for public office.