CIT, the small-business financing company that provides funding for airlines, railways, retailers and manufacturers, should have little trouble securing some kind of government aid, whether in the form of a short-term loan, as seems to be the most likely scenario, or even a TARP or FDIC bailout.

Public antipathy toward bailing out financial companies was pretty much exhausted months ago. Plus, with banks still skittish about lending, CIT serves a clientele that has both ready demand and strong support in conservative corners of Washington that have long touted small business as their base.

The more hearty free marketers say CIT clients will be able to find funds elsewhere if the company does go under. But in the current environment, might a government agency be just as likely to fill that role as the banking sector?