By Holly Sraeel

In its earliest days in the summer of 2007, it was labeled a “crunch,” shortly followed by “storm.” As credit conditions worsened into the fall, financial industry players and some observers were quick to reassure investors that this storm was indeed a cycle, something the markets had weathered in the past. But then analysts began tossing the “crisis” word around and, by November, William Seidman, the then 86-year-old former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., felt compelled to remind players that “things will get much worse, but I don’t think it is going to imperil the financial system the way the S&Ls did.”

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