New York (CNNMoney.com) - On Sept. 15, 2008, America woke up to its worst financial meltdown in generations.
Nearly two years and thousands of pages of legislation later, it is still unclear whether the government has found a way to prevent a similar collapse from happening again.
The Senate passed a financial reform bill Thursday with the aim of stopping future crises before they start. The bill addresses several leading causes: crazy lending practices, risky bets by banks, inflated credit ratings on junky assets and an inability to wind down collapsing financial institutions.
Will it prevent the next crisis? Even proponents of the legislation concede it might not.
The Senate bill - and a similar House measure - would do much to make the financial markets safer and fix many of the problems that arose. But it falls short of fundamentally changing the way that financial institutions do business.