Why the bailout buffet is closed for business

Financial firms that are operating on a shaky footing might need to prepare for a long, cold winter. For a variety of reasons, it seems highly unlikely that there will be any more government bailouts in 2009, particularly when it comes to the financial services industry.

For the past few months, institutions that were deemed TBTF (Too Big To Fail) have been lining up at the government trough; some, like AIG, have even gone back for seconds. In return for all the administration's efforts to lend support to the financial services industry when it was teetering on the brink, President Obama's reward has been an unending stream of accusations -- everything from being socialist to being anti-business. His poll numbers have suffered, and entertaining another bailout at this time would open his administration up to more criticism than it would be worth.