Regardless of what you think about the politics of the 2008/2009 bailouts in the US, they worked. Or at least "worked" in the sense they stabilized the system and prevented a systemic collapse. Europe's approach to the banking bailouts has been so piecemeal that it fails to address the core issues - i.e. Spain, Greece and others are bankrupt. Pretending they're not and "lending" them more money is only going to make the problem worse. Good article from Bloomberg about why the most recent 100 billion euros won't accomplish anything.
I like Greg Weldon's solution to the problem - get Germany off the Euro. Everyone else wants to monetize their debt but the Germans are so afraid of hyperinflation that they refuse. Germany's economy is so big and so productive that the other countries can't compete while on a common currency. Kicking Greece out of the Euro, then Spain, than Italy would be far too disruptive for the European banking system. They have too much debt, the French mega-banks would be instantly insolvent if they got paid back in drachmas or lira. Something has to give, the French will never give up their sovereignty to the Germans (by choice), the Germans will never pay for Italian pensions and French health care. There is no tidy solution, its a question of which solution is the least messy.