Business: Little Man's Float

In 1961 First National City Bank of New York pioneered an innovation which has since become as popular as it once was unorthodox: in denominations as low as $500, the bank offered its customers fixed-term certificates of deposit that paid a higher interest rate than is permitted on savings accounts. Now its managers have introduced an even more radical idea for the inflation-harried small investor: notes that would pay a variable interest rate, generally tending to rise with the cost of living. Their plans have kicked up a controversy that prevented the scheduled sale of the notes last week.

The notes would...

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