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What separated the small group of winners from the larger group of losers in the subprime crisis was the ability to apply the brakes at the right time. Too often risk managers have been relegated to secondary status and their advice has gone unheeded. Going forward, says Accenture's Chris Thompson, banks need to take a fresh look at their cultures and address their operating model, as well as the roles and responsibilities of both the business lines and risk control

Nearly a year into the turmoil swirling around the financial and credit markets, the numbers have become all too familiar. To date, bank losses stemming from subprime mortgages are estimated at $400 billion with more fallout expected. The International Monetary Fund estimates wider credit-related losses could approach one trillion dollars.

Soaring delinquencies in subprime mortgages were the primary trigger, with the losses mounting and spreading when liquidity dried up. The US housing market

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