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WASHINGTON, DC—If nothing else, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. must get kudos for its creativity in stretching its resources to handle the huge influx of failed banks and their assets over the past two years.

Among other approaches, it is providing assistance to investors that wish to acquire these banks through price discounts and warrant sales. Examples include TD Bank of Canada, which announced it would buy the South Financial Group. Thomas H. Lee Partners took a minority stake in Sterling Financial for $134.7 million. Then there was Gerald J. Ford, who paid $500 million for a 91% stake in Pacific Capital Bancorp, based in Santa Barbara.

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