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This essay begins with a brief discussion of the history of the dual banking system in Part I. Part II reviews the justifications for, and criticisms of, the dual banking system. Part III details the recent challenges to the dual banking system. Part IV looks to the future of the dual banking system and concludes that Congress has chosen not to preempt entirely the states' authority despite the continued erosion of states' authority over safety and soundness issues. This leaves the states with a continuing opportunity to serve as laboratories of innovation in bank regulation. If the states seize this opportunity, their role in the regulation of banks will persist inevitably regardless of political fortune.



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