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In an attempt to put the current financial crisis into perspective, Chart of the Day offered the fascinating chart below.

click to enlarge

23-sep-3.jpg

Source: Chart of the Day

As illustrated, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers dwarfs all previous U.S. bankruptcies.  From Chart of the Day:

The US government has taken the approach that some companies are ‘too big to fail’ as failure could have devastating systemic effects. In the case of Lehman Brothers, however, the bar as to what is too big has been raised - considerably.

Related article:

Source: Picture of the Day: 10 Largest U.S. Bankruptcies