The way Congress has addressed financial modernization and the substance of the law it will likely enact leads one to the conclusion that the banking industry has not fared as well as might have been hoped. Our inability to reach broad, industrywide consensus in a timely manner sapped our lobbying efforts of their effectiveness.

When the bill becomes law, we should look back to ask ourselves what lessons we have learned and where we should go in the future. The need for reflection is even greater following the termination of merger talks by the American Bankers Association and America's Community Bankers.

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