Markets have this uncanny ability to wreak poetic justice.
For example the injustice, even more so than the $700 billion bail out, is the transfer of wealth from younger generations to older generations in the form of Social Security and (to a rarely known) larger effect, Medicare. I've seen figures around $75 trillion in unfunded entitlements, but even if it's just a fraction of that, the bail out of older generations ineptitude to save for their own retirement will dwarf this pittance of a "housing" bail out.
However, like I said, markets have a very wicked way of wreaking poetic justice and now is a perfect example.
Though it's counterintuitive, younger generations should be cheering for stocks to crash as low as possible. The reason why is simple; we're not retiring tomorrow. We're retiring 30-40 years from now. So why would we want to pay a premium for stocks? Oh, sure, if you're retiring tomorrow, you're screwed. If you thought you were going to snow bird it down to Florida and sell your house and live off your 401k plan next year, you're hosed. But if you're in the "acquiring stage" of building up your retirement portfolio, you should be cheering like mad for the stock markets to crash. For stocks are no different than any consumer good. Do you want to pay $5 for a gallon of gas? I presume not. So why would you want to pay $100 for a share of Microsoft, let alone cheer when stock prices go up. You want the price of stocks, just like gas, cars, chocolate and wiener dogs to go down.
It is here though the poetic justice manifests itself. People, regardless of generational age, should be against the bail out just on principle alone. But younger folk, if they're smart, should not only be cheering against a bail out on principle, but if there is no bail out and then financial collapse does ensue (though I wonder about that) it will make the primary vehicle by which we save for retirement (stocks/mutual funds) insanely cheaper. It is in this lowering of price, that in essence, results an a "transfer back of wealth." Those imminently facing retirement will suffer a drop in their stock prices and be forced to sell at a lower price. While the youthful will be able to pick up those stocks for a fire sale price (not to mention as they approach their higher income earning years) and recoup some of the money we'd have to shell out at a later date to support those imminently approaching retirement.
Not that younger generations should be maliciously cheering for stocks to go down because it impoverishes other people out of spite, but the point I'm making is that the market is making this a reality anyway.