For all the well-intentioned discussion about taking a forward-looking approach to prevent the next financial crisis, we have been too focused on the rearview mirror.

A pattern of overreliance on the past to try to predict future problems has been going on for years. Recent incarnations include fixating on hedge funds after Long Term Capital Management imploded and on technology stocks after the Internet bubble burst. While we rightfully tried to address the causes of those problems, it was too late and we failed to prepare for the next emerging risk — an overheating housing market that would become yet another crisis to take on after the fact.

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