For the chance to criticize NationsBank Corp.'s community lending record at a public hearing today in San Francisco, Peter Skillern had to give up three days of work, travel 2,800 miles, and spend $750 on airfare and hotel.

After all that, the executive director of the Durham (N.C.) Affordable Housing Coalition is unlikely to have even a marginal effect on the Federal Reserve Board's decision to allow the NationsBank-BankAmerica Corp. merger.

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