It has failed with a fiscally conservative house majority that might be closer to the opinions of the people on the street. With what result?
"What we now have is a non-functional government in the face of a major crisis, because Congress includes a quorum of crazies and nobody trusts the White House an inch. As a friend said last night, we've become a banana republic with nukes." (Paul Krugman, New York Times)
Bradford & Bingley in Britain (63 billions) was more expensive than the HRE, Fortis in Benelux with 11 billion €uros cheaper - but eventually all this will not be enough, not the hundreds of billions in Europe, not the 700 billion $ in the US. And for that reason it seems prudent not to bail out to quickly, because no sum will be the end of it, however much we might hope so.
No broker would currently invest in the stock of investment banks and subprime financers. Why, exactly, should the taxpayer - with money which will mean zero options left for investing in education and innovation, for fighting hunger and extinguishable diseases. We all know that money spent on the "war on terror" is missing in the "war on want". The same goes for the bailout which would kill any room for investing progressively.
We cannot spend the same cent twice, as was done inside the real estate bubble. It is not the market economy which fails, it is a bubble bursting.