Banking Takes a Beating

COVER STORY

The money industry comes under attack from customers, rivals and regulators

American bankers for decades operated by the 3-6-3 rule: pay depositors 3% interest, lend money at 6% and tee off at the golf course by 3 p.m. They could afford to be that precise because federal and state laws set the strict rules by which they operated and protected them from competitors. As a result, the power and prestige of bankers remained as secure as their vaults, while profits were steady and certain.

Suddenly, all that is gone. Bankers now face their most strenuous survival...

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