In 2008 we had a chance to reform the political system and put back in place the post-Depression controls that were taken off by mostly Republican administrations. We didn't do any of that. Instead we doubled-down, and built up another insane bubble. And it sure feels like it's popping right now.
As pointed out so well in this Telegraph piece, unlike 2008, we don't have the tools to bail out the banks this time. Interest rates are already at zero. The governments don't have the means to inject money, and China is not in a position to help out.
Another curiosity, pointed out today by Fareed Zakaria. You can get to 40 percent of the votes in the Senate with 10 percent of the population, due to the way Senate seats are allocated. That means that virtually empty states like Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, the Dakotas, etc have unbelievable levers to pull, not just on the US, but on the world. They can stop anything from happening.