After this country's financial system was shaken to its very moorings, federal policymakers are about to make legislative prescriptions that we hope will ensure that the events of the past nine months are not repeated anytime soon, if ever.

As we all know, federal regulators were forced to make unpopular decisions based on the belief that weakened financial firms were so big and so interconnected that their failure would devastate the world economy. They were perceived to be, in a phrase, "too big to fail," and thus we bailed them out with tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.

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