Banking: Hour of Truth in Dallas

Late last month, as the law requires, Comptroller of the Currency James J. Saxon, 48, issued a year-end call to all federally chartered U.S. banks to report their deposits on hand. By longstanding tradition, the comptroller's annual call has always come on Dec. 31—which has given growth-minded banks a chance to pad their fiscal shoulders by pulling in temporary extra deposits from correspondent banks or, less ethically, by juggling letters of credit or withdrawals still clearing the mails. Combative ex-Banker Saxon, however, chose to make his move on Dec. 28. As he hoped, the early call caught a number...

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