Megan's two cents on the government buyout:
...it might be fun to let the financial markets collapse catastrophically in order to teach people that they oughtn't to speculate, either on securities or government bailouts. On the other hand, the Great Depression sort of sucked, and not just for people who took a flyer on AT&T at 87.
Going forward, of course, we should take pains to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again, first among them ensuring that the shareholders and managers suffer for the mistakes made by their firms---and of course, by refusing to make those sorts of implied guarantees for ostensibly private companies. Perhaps we should even pass a law forbidding the government to bail out insolvent banks. But we already lost this round.
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