How interesting! Now that it is the US we are talking about, yes, the regulations were flawed, let the government bail the banks out. Why wasn't the same justification be accorded to smaller countries who had similar problems? I remember in the case of Kenya when banks were experiencing similar problems, it "was shut them down or no IMF/WB assistance." Did I hear even a whisper from the two institutions this time round? Noo, of course not! Big brother cannot commit a sin, can he?
What about wrong lending priorities? Same thing, different words. I would be hard pressed to believe the US banks had no idea that the sub-prime mortgage market should have been a no-no. For the Africans it is political lending. Serious CEO in both cases know the exact consequences of risks they taking.
To me, whether we are talking about political lending or unwise mortgages, the bottom line is, ineffectiveness of the regulatory systems and greed (whether for making a financial killing or for buying political patronage. One for big performance bonuses and the other to retain one's job) are the causes of the problem and therefore same prescription should be applied to both the big and the small.
I am waiting to see how the IMF/WB will react when, God forbid, banks in some small country, especially African, experience the American-type problem.