These are really excellent answers. On the “deregulation” claim I recommend the relevant section of my book Rollback, and/or the relevant section of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcAX0oX9ANU
Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University counts 115 state and federal agencies charged with overseeing financial markets. We are supposed to believe the current crisis could have been avoided if only we had had 116? Of what help are “regulators” when 99.9% of them could see nothing wrong with the housing-bubble economy? Hiring 10,000 more equally clueless people is supposed to help? How about not blowing up a housing bubble in the first place, so we wouldn’t have to be at the mercy of bureaucratic drones and their vaunted “regulatory oversight” in the first place?
Incidentally, spending on financial regulation has increased threefold, adjusting for inflation, since 1980.