Thomas Friedman's "Rescue the Rescue" is one of the best things I've read about our collective financial crisis. This just kills me, because it's so true:
I totally understand the resentment against Wall Street titans bringing home $60 million bonuses. But when the credit system is imperiled, as it is now, you have to focus on saving the system, even if it means bailing out people who don’t deserve it. Otherwise, you’re saying: I’m going to hold my breath until that Wall Street fat cat turns blue. But he’s not going to turn blue; you are, or we all are. We have to get this right.
My favorite explanation of the financial conditions that led to the bailout, from Choire Sicha:
So like, if you loaned a bunch of people money, under the mistaken impression that Michael Jackson's back catalogue would always get more expensive, and then Michael Jackson got some weird face surgery again and no one wanted his albums any more, well then they won't get more expensive and all those loans are pretty worthless—and plus you loaned people money for mp3s who really didn't have the money to pay it back anyhow!