Central bankers barely averted a financial panic before Christmas by replacing hundreds of billions of dollars of deposits fleeing European banks. But confidence in the global banking system remains dangerously low. To prevent the next panic, it's not enough to rely on emergency actions by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Instead, governments should fully guarantee all bank deposits -- and impose much tighter restrictions on risk-taking by banks. Banks should be forced to shed activities like derivatives trading that regulators cannot easily examine.
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