PERSONALITIES: Bunting's Bet

When it comes to making important changes in interest rates, the big-time bankers of New York, Chicago and San Francisco have recently taken a back seat to Philadelphia's John R. Bunting, the controversial chief of the First Pennsylvania Banking & Trust Co. On two occasions in 1968 and 1970, Bunting was the first to cut the prime rate, and other bankers quickly followed. Last week, ignoring pleas and pressure from the Nixon Administration, Bunting acted again. This time he hiked the prime, from 5½% to 5¾%. By week's end Bunting was out on a long limb, because no other...

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