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As the global banking crisis deepens, a flood of multi-million dollar lawsuits is beginning to shed light into some of the darkest corners of international finance.
The BBC's Michael Robinson investigates these cases and what they reveal about the present disaster.
Some cases claim to show how well-known banks protected their profits by deceiving investors.
Others accuse top bank executives of using insider information to sell personal shareholdings before bad news about their bank was revealed.
The legal papers claim that the system that should independently rate the risk of investments was compromised.
While policymakers struggle to prevent a rerun of the Great Depression of the 1930s, these cases help highlight what some now call the greatest failure of regulation in modern financial history.
First broadcast Friday 24 October 2008