This is a series of three stories by senior writer David Evans that ran in the February, July and November issues of Bloomberg Markets magazine. In "The Risk Nightmare," (July 2008), Evans pierced the opacity and complexity of credit default swaps, unregulated securities that were supposed to act as a form of insurance and protect investors against risk. He found that CDS had built up so many interconnections that one player could jeopardize the entire financial system. In "Banks on the Edge" (November 2008), Evans reported that scores of regional banks across the U.S. would fail within a year because they hadn't yet realized their losses on defaulting mortgages. In "Peddling Tainted Debt to Florida," (February 2008), he reported that Lehman Brothers was both advising and selling toxic debt to Florida's "money market pool." This disclosure prompted a run on the pool, and it was then shut down as the state investigated its holding and worked to restore its creditworthiness.