In 1989, U.S. President George Bush signed into law one of the most significant pieces of legislation enacted since this nation’s Great Depression in the 1930s. Formally entitled the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, it is more often referred to by its acronym, FIRREA.1 Although the most visible portion of FIRREA is its mechanism to recapitalize the insolvent thrift deposit insurance program, the most important features of the legislation are those designed to control risk to the federal deposit insurance systems through stringent standards placed on insured depository institutions and through expanded powers given to the federal financial institution supervisory agencies.