The last few years have seen unprecedented regulatory burdens imposed on rederally insured depository institutions. But none is more harmful to chances for long-term recovery of the struggling thrift industry than the web of liabilities that regulators have spun, entrapping even the most conscientious directors and officers.

Although the 1980s' regulatory failures required a strong response, recent legislation has gone too far. Congress and the administration have overcompensated for past regulatory laxity with a tangle of new rules.

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