I've written before that Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" was the most costly movie of all time.
This isn't because of it's budget, but because it gave us this warm feeling about savings and loan institutions, which led to these lightly regulated fiascos requiring a huge financial bailout in the 1980's
If we had the more cynical/realistic view that most people who are around money want more of it, we would have avoided that crisis and perhaps the current one. Deja vu, all over again, as Yogi Berra would say.
But while the 1980's savings and loan crisis can be regarded as deregulation gone amok, the current deep recession -- caused by financial institutions -- can be regarded as a sign that the political process has been captured by large corporations, particularly large financial corporations.
This idea that large institutions (corporations, mostly) is both a Tea Party critique and earlier Ralph Nader critique. That's why I see the Tea Party and Ralph Nader supporters as having a lot more in common than they realize. Sure, one comes from the left side and is earnestly over-educated and the other from the right side and can't spell, but a distrust of what the government has become is common to both.