As the financial modernization bill sprang back to life on Friday, industry leaders hailed it as watershed legislation that will make the U.S. financial services industry more dynamic and efficient.

Though banks, securities firms, and insurance companies have been finding paths into one another's business for years, the bill would provide clear passage by lifting barriers that can make such combinations complex and cumbersome. Dismissed by some as a "so what" measure, its impact is sure to be dramatic.

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