Barry Ritholtz points us to how essential US government intervention was for the banking system and in particular existing banks and the management at The Big Picture. It has links worth pursuing as well.
I continue to be of the mind that the Wall Street Bailouts were misguided, and that a massive Swedish style reorg would have been the best thing for the nation and the economy in the long run. Both Uncle Sam and the Fed would have provided the broad based debtor in possession financing required, and the losses would have fallen where they belonged — on the Shareholders and Bond Holders — and not the taxpayers.
The latest evidence of this: Data obtained by Bloomberg News through Freedom of Information Act requests, followed by months of litigation, and eventually, an act of Congress. (Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2T in Loans)
Note these are not ideas come about with the benefit of hindsight, but what a small band of insightful people were saying at the time.
An honest broker of the situation would have: