Back in the summer,1 I warned that the financial markets were headed for serious problems. But even my worst fears pale in comparison to what actually happened: nothing less than a near-death experience for western finance. The markets survived the collapse of Bear Stearns & Co., Inc., in February of 2008. But, the aftershock created a series of tsunamis that overwhelmed the world markets; institutional failure after institutional failure flooded the system. In September 2008 alone, we ...

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