I know I've got maybe 3 readers but I want to be on the record with this one.
All the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the general public having to pay for the bailout seems to be missing three little words.
Capital. Gains. Tax.
Nice populist ring to them: but you won't hear them from somebody like McCain.
Now, I don't know if that makes any economic sense as an idea, and I'm not proposing it as a serious solution because I'm not knowledgeable enough to think it through. But I'm shocked that nobody's using the words yet. Populists could use the bailout as a justification for continuing or increasing the CGT. Plutocrats could use the CGT as justification for the bailout -- what have they been paying for all this time? Spin could go either way.
A further source of joy for me is to hear all the howls of "communism" coming from the usual capitalism-uber-alles lunatics. Here they have the most compliant right-wing presidential lapdog they could ever have asked for. But when faced with the possibility of being branded the second Herbert Hoover for bringing on a second world-wide great depression, he scurries to nationalize. Maybe that sounds as if he's working against his patron capitalists, but chances are it will boil down to government handouts to the corporations and the rich.