Is the overcomplexity due to insufficient regulation?
We're going to put the whole mess on the US and taxpayer balance sheet. Paulson estimated hundreds of billions, but it could easily be a trillion. It all depends on home prices.
WSJ has a nice blow by blow account of the last week of crisis, focusing on key players like Paulson, Thain, Fuld, etc. (See also here.)
WSJ: ...In a private meeting with lawmakers, according to a person present, one asked what would happen if the bill failed.
"If it doesn't pass, then heaven help us all," responded Mr. Paulson, according to several people familiar with the matter.