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Increasingly, Washington leaders are talking about systemic risk as the issue to stabilize the markets and prevent a repeat of the problems that caused our economic downturn. From President Barack Obama to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to various other top leaders in our nation’s capital, systemic risk is increasingly listed as the top priority within the broader context of financial services reform. The Property Casualty Insurers Assn. of America (PCI) fully agrees. In fact, we have been saying for months that systemic risk in the financial services sector is the top issue that the federal government must address. Our leaders must not be sidetracked by other issues, such as federal versus state regulation of insurance, which have been ongoing for decades and have no immediate resolution. The lengthy debate over whether to regulate insurance at the federal or state level is not the right question to discuss at this time. The results of that debate will do nothing to ease the overall economic crisis, which largely occurred because of a series of interconnected market failures.

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