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The world financial system has weathered several major financial crises in the past several decades: the U.S. Savings and Loan Crisis in the late l9Sos and early 19905 and the Asian Financial Crisis in igj followed in short order by the Russian Financial Crisis in 1998, are only a few of the most prominent. At this printing, the current financial crisis, sparked by a collapse in residential housing prices and rising defaults in the category of high-risk loans known as "ubprime," has yet to find a name - or an end. Financial markets around the world have been in turmoil for over a year: investors have taken heavy losses, access to credit is highly constricted and financial markets are highly illiquid.
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