Lew, a former OMB chief for President Bill Clinton, told the panel that "the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation," and after discussing those issues, added that he didn't "personally know the extent to which deregulation drove it, but I don't believe that deregulation was the proximate cause." ~ HuffPostIt is accurate that the wild cowboy investing which brought banks worldwide to their knees existed before financial deregulation. Sandy Weill (Lew's former boss at Citibank and a prime mover in deregulation) wasn't born during the Clinton Administration. It is also true that investment banking was hobbled by Depression era regulation and once given its freedom the banks went crazy wild riding the economy into a canyon.
Deregulation allowed those bankers to follow their desires and their desire was to be intensely insane. Lew was one of those who enabled the crazy.