Two lessons I'm taking from current world financial crisis and US government bailout.
1) US-style capitalism doesn't work without government involvement. As Ayn Rand once put it, real capitalism is an unknown ideal. Who knows how ideal it is? Certainly not the US, which offers us no evidence, one way or the other.
2) Markets "don't know nuffink". Seriously, all the arguments about mark-to-market etc. reveal that these grand distributed information processing machines are pure fraud. What exactly is the worth of XYZ asset? Well, we don't know. We must stop mark-to-market because what the market is telling us is "wrong". That's why we must pump more money in, to convince the market to "know" something else about the value of these things.
Markets do not discover the "correct" value of things. We've just let free-market ideologues paint us into an epistemological corner where we assume whatever the market tells us is the correct value. Except when a crisis comes along, like today, and the result is so painful that we try to convince markets of something else.
The crisis is not because the price is too high or too low. The crisis is because markets are too volatile to be relied on as generators of knowledge. The world didn't dramatically change between the pre-crisis and now. The knowledge of the world which is incorporated in markets didn't dramatically change either. What dramatically changed were the expectations of how other agents in the market would behave. In other words, the dramatic re-valuation of assets reflects only endogenous feedback loops inside the market, not an epistemic process responsible for enabling beliefs to reliably track the world.
Now we realize that such a mechanism for generating accurate knowledge about the world barely exists. The information gathering function of the market is swamped by the "betting on other agents' behaviours" part.
Of course, none of this will stop the hypocrites who will pocket their government hand-out and go back to selling us the idea that the market is the best information aggregator that exists.