BANKING: Devaluation of Faith

After more than a generation of stability, most of the Western world's bankers and the men who regulate their operations were smugly convinced that the financial chaos of earlier decades was forever behind them. Now, a recent string of bank failures and losses in both the U.S. and Europe has jolted public confidence and raised troubling questions about the supervision, efficiency and even the honesty of international banking. Last week the European financial community received two more shocks. Jittery depositors drew so much money out of Vienna's small Allgemeine Wirtschaftsbank that it was forced to shut down. Much more...

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