With Tuesday's actions, the federal government has extended itself so far into every corner of the financial services sector - investing directly in banks; buying unlimited amounts of commercial paper; and guaranteeing bank debt, interbank funding, and all noninterest-bearing deposits - that many observers said it will involve considerable complexity before it can pull out again.

Even regulators acknowledged that some elements - such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s decision to back bank debt - could be particularly difficult to reverse.

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