I watched a movie today ("Monsieur Verdoux") that referenced the bank runs of the Great Depression. It showed a brief montage of some very angry people breaking windows at the bank, unable to get their money out, people jumping out of windows, etc.
How far are we today from a similar situation? Well, let's look at some headlines ...
Banking industry to lose 200,000 jobs
IMF Says U.S. In Worst Economic Crisis Since Great Depression
FDIC beefs up bank failure unit
And now it seems Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson wants to completely overhaul our banking system by giving the (privately owned) Federal Reserve even more authority. Why does this remind me of how we gave Bush authority to create the Department of Homeland Security, in reaction to a crisis that he himself was responsible for?