WASHINGTON - Rarely do bank regulators differ on the issue of credit quality, but on Tuesday, it was clear that for at least a moment, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Donna Tanoue had stopped reading from the same page.

In comments that came as a surprise to many, Mr. Greenspan veered from admonishing the industry against easy credit and instead warned bankers and regulators that overreacting to a slowing economy and deteriorating asset quality could spur a credit crunch.

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