Matt's right that RBNZ has made less a hash of things than the US Fed. Where I was worried about signs of impending inflation in early 2008, they rightly read the stats and saw hell about be unleashed.
I'll quibble, but only ever so slightly. The RBNZ and Treasury were forced into a deposit guarantee scheme that provided one-way bets for folks investing in dodgy finance companies. For that I'd put more blame on Cullen and Key than on either RBNZ or Treasury. If you're going to be mad at one of the bureaus about it, Treasury might might be the better target. But both did the best they could in rather a bit of a mad rush.
It's right to be angry that South Canterbury Finance's losses were socialised. But I suspect that the Wellington protesters would not have supported that SCF investors take the haircut themselves; I'd also expect the protesters wouldn't particularly want AMI's customers/owners to take the insurance haircut after the Christchurch earthquake.
I'll entirely endorse Matt's conclusion:
Americans are dead right to be very very angry about Wall Street crony capitalism that gives one-way bets to investment bankers in the name of preventing systemic risk. Two years ago, it was high time that a few banks go bankrupt, the depositors get paid out, and the bondholders get burned. Now, it's past due. It's obscene that Slovak taxpayers be asked to provide a bailout that covers rich German bondholders of Greek banks. We've fortunately not seen a lot of that kind of nonsense in New Zealand. We just don't have the same cause for protest.
But protests aren't really about policy anyway.