Conservatism had nothing to do with the 2008 meltdown. The primary components of the meltdown included:
(1) Progressive policies forcing banks to make loans to marginal customers;
(2) Clinton's National Homeownership Strategy making those progressive policies law, and backing them with $1 trillion in FNMA funding;
(3) The Fed cranking interest rates near 0 in the wake of the 2001 economic slowdown;
(4) Sarbanes-Oxley knee-jerk reaction to the 2001 auditing crisis, resulting in
(a) mark-to-market accounting required by the fed govt.
(b) the recourse rule requiring huge investment in MBRs to meet reserve requirements.
It's all government intervention. No conservatism to be seen.