Yesterday, my friends at Crooks and Liars published this article with the title, "Why Are Companies Allowed to Get Big Enough to Impose a 'Systemic Risk'?" This question is an important one. Not only should we be dealing with the effects of this giantism, but a host of other issues around corporate governance. This article clearly points to the obvious fact that corporations in the "private sector" have massive influences on the public. When companies experience financial difficulties there is always a cost to the public - whether it's payment of unemployment benefits to displaced former employees or other issues. There are relatively few companies that actually have plans in place to deal with the consequences of disposing of the things they produce. And when these companies control the financial security of entire countries - or, with the example of AIG, perhaps the world economy - that certainly has massive effects on every one of us.
At some point, we need to stop talking about corporations as part of some mythic "private" sector. There is simply no such thing.