Niall Ferguson, writing in the Financial Times, concludes: "If only we had learnt from Lehman that no bank should be 'too big to fail', we might still have a real capitalist system, instead of the state-guaranteed monstrosity that is the real legacy of last year's crisis."
That is a colorful sentence. If there's room to quibble it's that in many ways America even before the crisis fell short of a "real capitalist system," because of all the many ways that government intervenes and distorts markets. In some ways, the crisis just made many of those implicit and hidden subsidies more explicit and transparent. It's tempting for critics of the interventions that have taken place in the final year of the Bush administration and the first year of the Obama administration to idealize what came before that, but it wasn't exactly laissez faire.