In ordinary times most people would not get their blood up over an issue like bank loan-loss reserves. Even for financial executives, "allowance for loan and lease losses," the technical name for bank reserves, is a yawner.

But in these extraordinary times we all have reason to get excited about the accounting and regulatory changes affecting bank reserves in the United States. Recent events have provided a graphic demonstration of how quickly issues in U.S. banking can become issues in world banking.

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