The current economic crisis seems to teach the following:
The only thing worse than financial-market regulations is the absence of financial-market regulations.
When corporations are allowed to get so large that they "can't be allowed to fail", then they might have to be socialized at great public expense. A preventative measure is trust-busting.
When a political ideology like "ownership society" replaces the due diligence of creditors, then bankruptcy and default will be the natural response of debtors. On a small scale this cannot be avoided, but on a large scale it harms Main Street and Wall Street.
Bailout money dispensed without strings or compensation encourages waste. For example, a scant week after pocketing an $85-billion bailout from taxpayers on Sept. 16, AIG employees stayed at a West Coast resort and spent $440,000, including $23,380 at the spa. Most people would not call that belt tightening.