The mentality displayed in the recent statements of virtually all main and off-mainstream press is so completely and utterly at odds with the actual meaning of laissez faire (no government interference) that it would be capable of describing the economic policy of the old Soviet Union as one of laissez faire in its last decades.
Laissez-faire capitalism has a definite meaning - a politico-economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and in which the powers of the state are limited to the protection of the individual's rights against the initiation of physical force.
"The politico-economic system of the United States today is so far removed from laissez-faire capitalism that it is closer to the system of a police state", according to George Reisman, Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics. Of course this statement is in strong opposition to what is claimed by Ben Bernake and Alan Greenspan (current and previous heads of the US Federal Reserve), as well as other economist apologists for government intervention, including the most recent Nobel Laureate and New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman .
For those who think they understand what laissez-faire capitalism, a truly free market, really is and that it is what is responsible for the current financial mess in the world, I urge them to read "Is Laissez Faire Responsible for the Financial Crisis?" Professor Reisman's presentation is thorough while remaining thoroughly readable and, if actually read, can go a very long way towards correcting the misunderstandings held by a very large number of people in the US and throughout the world about the current very government regulated world economy.
It is understanding of facts rather than perpetuation of myths that is necessary for really getting out of the current mess (building for generations) rather than simply starting another bubble and burst cycle that will be worse than what we're seeing now - which is what those in governments are currently trying to do.