From the page: to understand just how extravagant the finance lobby's power is, you need to understand some background first. There are a lot of places we could start: the election of Ronald Reagan and the beginning of the great era of financial deregulation. The collapse of Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust in 1984. The $100 billion bailout of the savings and loan industry. The Mexican crisis of 1994. The Asian crisis of 1997. But for our purposes, the best place to start is 1998. That was the year a hedge fund called Long-Term Capital Management imploded and very nearly took the global financial system down with it. It was, if you will, a dry run for 2008.