Here's a summary of the paper by GMU economics professor Tyler Cowen:
1. It isn't "too big to fail" that's the problem, it's the rescue of creditors going back to 1984, encouraged imprudent lending and allowed large financial institutions to become highly leveraged.Skimming the paper, it looks like it may have interesting points, but I worry that it's a case of a researcher finding what he wanted to find.
2. Shareholder losses do not reduce the problem even when shareholders are the executives making the decisions
3. These incentives allowed execs to justify and fund enormous bonuses until they blew up their firms. Whether they planned on that or not doesn't matter. The incentives remain as long as creditors get bailed out.
4. Changes in regulations encouraged risk-taking by artificially encouraging the attractiveness of AAA-rated securities.
5. Changes in US housing policy helped inflate the housing bubble, particularly the expansion of Fannie and Freddie into low downpayment loans.
6. The increased demand for housing resulting from Fanne and Freddie's expansion pushed up the price of housing and helped make subprime attractive to banks. But the ultimate driver of destruction was leverage. Either lenders were irrationally exuberant or were lulled into that exuberance by the persistent rescues of the previous three decades.