The financial crisis has taken many forms. Bad subprime mortgages have caused losses on bank balance sheets to swell, consigned structured investment vehicles to the history books, and pushed some monoline insurance companies to the brink of collapse. The instability has spread across asset classes, causing further losses, mass redemptions and closures at some hedge funds, and a choking off of credit for corporates.

Plenty of attempts have been made to lessen the effects of the turmoil - but, as

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