The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression is about to prompt the most far-reaching renovation of the rules and institutions that regulate finance since the 1930s. And the change won't wait for the economy to recover. The Obama administration is rushing to finish a proposal for reshaping financial regulation and wants Congress to act on it by the fall.

The current crisis exposed two huge vulnerabilities. One is that a handful of financial institutions grew so large and so intertwined that the failure of just one put the entire world financial system at risk.

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