There is a basic principle in environmental economics called „the polluter pays“: polluters must pay for the cost of cleaning up their pollution. American banks have polluted the global economy with toxic waste; it is a matter of equity and efficiency that they must be forced, now or later, to pay the price of cleaning it up. As long as the banking sector feels that it will be bailed out of disasters–even ones it created–we will continue to have a moral hazard. Only by making sure that the sector pays the costs of its actions will efficiency be restored.
(Joseph E. Stiglitz – A Bank Bailout That Works in The Nation)