Here is a good post from naked capitalism. It discusses the Japanese banking crisis of the early 1990s and the political train wreck that prolonged the crisis, and how this inadequate response is starting to mirror the United States' response. Here is the key summary:
It is amazing how the politcization of decisions is driving the US down the same road the Japanese took, despite the considerable differences in the two societies. While Obama strives to strike a new tone, true leadership (as in getting the public to do things that are difficult but in their best interest) went out of fashion in the US a long time ago.