BANKING: New Yardstick

Big commercial banks have long been criticized by politicians for lavishing too much of their resources on high-yielding multinational investments and not enough on low-cost housing and other socially desirable projects in their own localities. Last week the New York State legislature moved to resolve the issue in a way that could conceivably alter the face of banking across the country. The Assembly's Committee on Banks began a series of hearings on a strongly supported bill to create a publicly financed, state-operated bank that would compete for business with private financial institutions.

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