First Wall Street bankers. Then government lending agencies known as Fannie and Freddie. Next in line for federal handouts was the international insurance company A.I.G. It begins to look as though the recipients of the hundreds of billions in bailouts will include virtually everyone. While the federal gravy train is still dispensing its favors, state governments are now looking to Washington to cover their huge deficits.
In testimony that surprised many observers, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan professed a "state of shocked disbelief" over the unfolding global financial crisis. Where once Greenspan regarded himself as a champion of untrammeled free markets, now, Greenspan told the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he believes he was "'partially' wrong to resist regulation of some securities."