ORLANDO, Fla. — Policy makers need to address the existence of "too big to fail" financial firms, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Saturday, calling the problem "pernicious" and an "insidious" barrier to competition.

"It is unconscionable that the fate of the world economy should be so closely tied to the fortunes of a relatively small number of giant financial firms," Bernanke said at the Independent Community Bankers of America conference in Florida.

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