Banking: Through the Wall

As supervisor of the 4,500 national banks in the U.S., the Comptroller of the Currency has traditionally been the very model of pin-striped decorum. Not James J. Saxon, 48. When Saxon took the job last November, he brought with him 27 pages of recommendations for reform. With almost indecent haste, he raised the Government's assessment on nationally chartered banks in order to erase his department's $2,500,000 deficit, opened new regional offices, slashed paperwork 50%, and cut the time required to approve a new bank charter from nine months to 75 days. "Jimmy Saxon," said one top U.S. banker, "is...

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