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We knew capitalism was crazy, but it turns out it took only a single sale of $4.1 billion in futures to put into motion a series of events that culminated in the “flash crash” of May 6, during which the Dow Jones dropped 600 points in just a matter of minutes.

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A leaked IMF report shows that there is growing international backing for a tax on bank profits, part of what has been dubbed a “Robin Hood tax” that, if ultimately agreed upon, would raise money to help those pushed deeper into poverty by the global financial crisis and to restore public services.

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In a letter to a ranking Senate Democrat, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called for restrictions on derivatives -- those financial instruments whose value is derived from other instruments -- but stopped at an outright ban on the trading practices that helped lead to the current financial crisis.

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