I tend to believe that the markets are being manipulated by unseen forces, but not in the malevolent way that many people believe.
'Too big to fail' is the mantra often used to justify bailing out AIG and the banks, but right now, with baby boomers approaching retirement age it is the PENSION FUNDS that are too big to fail.
Given the tough unemployment situation, the sinking dollar, inflation, etc. the United States simply cannot afford to see pension funds and retirement accounts decimated for the third time in little over a decade. They really can't.
What is becoming increasingly apparent is that most of politics is theater, and that while we ostensibly have two political parties at elections here in the United States, behind the scenes there is really only one party, and I don't think The Party is crazy enough to let the markets crash again for the sake of free market ideology. Whether The Party CAN stop the next crash/correction remains to be seen, but I imagine that if enough of the establishment and big money can be got on board, that it can. Maybe this is the secret agreement that was the quid pro quo for the TARP bailout and immunity from prosecution?
Remember that all these major bankers, your Lloyd Blankfeins etc. already have personal wealth sufficient to support their families to the third generation, so it isn't so inconceivable that they might agree to work for the common good for a change.
The killing of Osama bin Laden may be a not so subtly coded message to the bankers that those whose seek to destroy America will not be allowed to retire to gated communities with a view of the mountains.