Just as they did two decades ago, US banking regulators are holding a mountain of assets seized from failed banks. This time, though, the government is leaning harder on the private sector to hold and sell more of the $600bn in dud loans, foreclosed buildings and other assets. After the savings-and-loan crisis, the Resolution Trust Corp. sold 89% of the $453bn in assets it got from 747 failed financial institutions in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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