At the root of recurring bank crises are deeply-implanted incentives for banks and their executives to take systemically excessive risk. Since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, regulators have sought to strengthen the financial system by requiring more capital (which can absorb losses from risk-taking) and less risk-taking, principally via command-and-control rules. Yet bankers' baseline incentives for system-degrading risk-taking remain intact.

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