Martin Mayer solidified his reputation as a business journalist with "The Bankers," a 1974 book that described an industry on the brink of major changes in competition, globalization, and technology. In the next few weeks his long-awaited sequel, "The Bankers: The Next Generation" (Truman Talley Books/Dutton), will arrive in bookstores.

Between those tomes, and aside from his part-time output as an opera critic, Mr. Mayer, 68, wrote many articles and books on subjects ranging from housing and the savings and loan crisis to Salomon Brothers and Lloyds of London. He is currently a Brookings Institution guest scholar in Washington, where his wife, Karin Lissakers, is U.S. executive director of the International Monetary Fund. In this recent conversation with Jeffrey Kutler, Mr. Mayer discussed how he put a forward spin on his 22-year-old classic.

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