Finally Off the Critical List

Lower interest rates give ailing thrifts a badly needed lift

"We're making money for the first time since June of 1981. It's so wonderful to look through rose-colored glasses again."

That kind of talk, coming in this case from Melissa Keleher, vice president of Home Federal Savings & Loan Association in San Diego (assets: $6 million), has not been heard much around the thrift industry during the past three years. Caught in a squeeze between high interest rates and longterm, fixed-interest mortgages, thrift institutions became candidates for the endangered-species list. The number of thrifts...

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