The Nation: Cents and Sensibility

In these times, the situation was not unusual. The Suburban Bank of Norristown, Pa., found that 10% of its customers who had taken out loans were unable to make their payments. Nor was it surprising that the bank discovered that nearly 75% of those who were be hind in their payments were out of work.

What was surprising was what the bank did about the problem.

Loan Manager Noreen Lawless got together a list of unfilled menial jobs and began calling up her delinquent clients to offer them work. She had a lot of trou...

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