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Paying the Price: Ending the Great Recession and Beginning a New American Century by Mark Zandi

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2. Bank Bailout

“The feds have no *** idea what they are doing.” The chief credit officer at one of the nation’s largest banks had worked himself into a lather over the Federal Reserve’s demand that financial institutions stress-test their portfolios. It was early 2009 and the nation’s banking system had just suffered a near-death experience. A government bailout had saved his bank and many others from almost sure extinction, but the banker was apoplectic that the government was now requiring his institution to examine itself to see how well it could survive a major economic shock.

It wasn’t just the mechanics of stress testing, though those weren’t exactly pleasant. What bothered this banker was the thought that he and his colleagues might need ...

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