Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently said, "We won't have a real market-based financial system until it is safe to let a financial firm fail." During the past two years, Bernanke's actions have contradicted that theory, which is correct, nonetheless. Meanwhile, leading lawmakers are preparing to give the Treasury as well as the Fed the authority to rescue a range of companies, including bank holding companies, automakers, hedge funds and just about any other finance-related company. Bernanke has not publicly opposed the plan.

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