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After four years of efforts, regulators and the financial firms with the most at stake have failed to extinguish systemic risk in a crucial short-term lending market that greases the wheels of trading in U.S. Treasuries.

There’s a consensus on how to further safeguard the $1.6 trillion tri-party repurchase-agreement market, which almost collapsed amid the financial crisis. The plan is to move most repo transactions onto central clearinghouses, which would prevent a default by a dealer from pushing counterparties into abruptly dumping repo collateral. Such fire sales, which the Federal Reserve has been highlighting as a threat, helped sink Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008 and forced the central bank to step in to keep credit flowing.

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