If you're interested in this kind of thing, John Hempton has a post over at his place examining why Korea snapped back from its late-90s banking crisis fairly quickly while Japan's crisis lingered on for over a decade. It's interesting stuff, but the main reason I recommend reading it is that he debunks the common misconception that Japan suffered from an epidemic of "zombie banks" during the 90s. For the most part, though, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that their banks spent the 90s lending to zombie corporations. Big difference. Full story here.