I found this Megan McArdle quote at Dustbury:
There is no industry in America that does not depend upon Wall Street. If credit seizes up and the banks fail, everyone will suffer deeply as businesses cut back for lack of capital, mortgage capital dries up, credit card rates rise and car loans become hard to get.
But that doesn’t mean one has to support the current bailout — you can add me to the list of libertarians standing athwart history shouting “stop!!!” I don’t think we can punish risk-taking managers and the shareholders who enabled them as thoroughly as we might like without possibly taking the rest of us down with them. But allowing banks to selectively offload their crap on the government without so much as a rap on the knuckles for having bought the crap in the first place is taking things too far.
That’s fairly close to my thoughts on the subject. I’m not shouting “Stop!” yet; I don’t think we should let the whole economy collapse because we want to punish a few big banks but, on the other hand, when you reward people for being stupid or corrupt they will just keep on being stupid or corrupt. Can’t we bail out the banks and punish the humans who are responsible for the mess?