The world learned some important lessons last year about the devastating impact risk can have on everything from financial assets to the housing market. The big question is: will we take the necessary actions to tame this unpredictable beast?

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., there were 135 bank failures in the U.S. in 2009. By comparison, 25 failed in 2008 — almost all of them in the second half of the year — and three failed between 2005 and 2007.

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