You can't have your cake and eat it too by saying that whenever the government caves to pro-free market ideologies that it's both government's fault for listening and a sign that the government should have never been there in the first place.
Actually what I'm saying here is Government is filled with the same flawed people that inhabit corporations. It is not immune to the same rot that affects everything else. Hence the whole "largest Gov't in history presiding over the largest and most expensive regulatory failure ever" thing. In a lot of ways rot is worse in Government because there are *way* more tools to hide, silence via intimidation, or outright criminalize any reform.
It's only cheaper because people can externalize the costs and sweep them under the rug.
I'll agree that there are a lot of costs that get externalized. However, those are usually offset by the externalized gains that nobody talks about. Take your mining example. Those metals produced a benefit to society far above their cost to produce in terms of jobs, technology and whatnot that would not have existed without putting shovel to dirt. The calculation isn't all that straight forward. Should the guy that improves the value of his property demand a cut of the appreciation of the property of his neighbors? Absurd notion, but why then should the reverse be true?
However, what is happening on Wall St. isn't externalized costs. It is outright fraud on a massive scale, the cost of which is being redirected to the taxpayers by government. The same government supposedly charged with preventing said fraud. You'll forgive me if I don't have quite the same faith in regulation as a cure all. Prison is the most regulated population on the planet, yet people still get ass-raped daily.