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Can you please explain to us simpletons* EXACTLY what the problem is, sparing the hyperbole of "another great depression", "credit freeze", etc?

We've been told "This MUST be done immediately" - although it hasn't been, and yet the world is still here.

We've been told "This is NOT a Bailout" - and yet the apparent benefit is for the banks who made stupid lending decisions and bought financial instruments they didn't understand (CDS).

So far to me this appears to be a breathless tempest in a teapot, and I await convincing that I am missing something here.


* when I say simpleton, I should note that I have an Undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance, and an MBA from a top 20 school - both with very high GPAs.
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