The financial crisis that began in 2007 in the United States swept the world, producing substantial bank failures and forcing unprecedented state aid for the crippled global financial system. Providing an international perspective, this book draws critical lessons from the causes of the crisis and proposes important regulatory reforms, including sound guidelines for the ways in which distressed banks might be dealt with in the future. While some recent policy moves go in the right direction, others, the book argues, are not sufficient to prevent another crisis. The book shows the necessity of an adaptive prudential regulatory system that can better address financial innovation. Stressing the numerous and complex challenges faced by politicians, finance professionals, and regulators, and calling for reinforced international coordination (for example, in the treatment of distressed banks), the book puts forth a number of principles to deal with issues regarding the economic incentives of financial institutions, the impact of economic shocks, and the role of political constraints.