Some refer to the latest and greatest financial crisis as a "perfect storm." This metaphor both highlights the severity of the crisis and attributes it to a rare, unlikely combination of forces that happened to combust simultaneously.

The "perfect storm" image can be a convenient way to deflect blame from humans, leaving the impression that external, natural forces were responsible for the crisis. Then the Federal Reserve, a bastion and defender of financial market stability, arrived to save the day — or at least, to keep us as safe and dry as possible.

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