Henry Thompson writes, "Bankruptcy is a normal part of economic life, covered by laws that guarantee stockholders will be compensated as much as possible. More efficient firms move in to take over what is left of bankrupt firms, buying what can be put to productive use. There is no crime in bankruptcy and, if handled quickly, little economic harm... The present financial problems would disappear quickly if the government let the markets operate and let inefficient firms go bankrupt. The irony is that the government is stepping in to solve the problems it created. The solution might "work," but the underlying disincentives in the mortgage and insurance markets will persist. Increased government meddling in the financial markets will only make the financial problems linger."
In Praise of Bankruptcy - Henry Thompson - Mises Institute