06/26/2012 07:08 pm ET Updated Aug 26, 2012

What To Learn From 147 Bank Crises

Here at Easy Street, I've been interested in the idea - the fear, really - that 2012 will be a replay of the Worst Year in Recent Financial Memory: 2008.

Here's what's haunting us: The country's biggest bank, JP Morgan, made an enormous bet earlier this year that the world economy would fall into crisis. (They've since reduced that bet, but there's no word on whether they've reduced their confidence.) The European financial crisis is intensifying every day, with five countries in bailout mode. We know that U.S. banks worked to become stronger and hoard money, but they've still come up short: Economist Robert Engle estimates our banks need $500 billion more on hand to survive a deep financial crisis.

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