For Rep. Maxine Waters, the solution to inner-city problems is crystal clear: Banks must finance multimillion-dollar redevelopment projects.

"Your scattered $27,000 small-business loans are something we could have talked about 15 years ago," the California Democrat said at a forum here this week. "But not today. To develop Vermont Avenue (in the city's South Central neighborhood), my land costs alone would exceed all your small- business lending."

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