In the military there is the 21-gun salute. But in Chicago, perhaps the greatest honor that can be bestowed on the deceased is a comparison to Michael Jordan.

Saul D. Binder was so honored recently.

Mr. Binder, the flamboyant president and chief executive officer of Success Bancshares of Lincolnshire, Ill., north of Chicago, died of a heart attack in July. He was 58.

A business page column in the Chicago Tribune compared him to the Bulls star.

"Stand them together and the greatest basketball player ever would seem to have nothing in common with the stocky, 5-foot 11-inch, bearded and bespectacled banker," David Gresling wrote.

However, "in the corner of the world that he called his own ... Binder was every bit as vital, entrancing, at times even infuriating, as Jordan himself. And they both left abruptly, with no successor in place."

Mr. Binder joined the bank in 1983, when it was called First National Bank of Lincolnshire and had just $10 million of assets. Adding branches and a new name, he built it into a $425 million institution. In December, Success named Wilbur G. Meinen to succeed him.

As for the Bulls, they play their first-regular season game sans Michael on Feb. 5. - Louis Whiteman


Seems the folks in Atlanta have more to cheer about these days than the Falcons' unlikely march to the Super Bowl.

Last month the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta became the first of the nation's 12 Home Loan banks to reach the 1,000-member plateau. Average membership is about 550 banks and thrifts.

Paul Hill, president of the Atlanta Home Loan bank, welcomed the milestone member, City First Bank, during a ceremony in Washington. City First, a community development bank, opened in the nation's capital Jan. 20.

After the ceremony, it was back to work for the Atlanta Home Loan Bank- which, at $49 billion of assets, is the system's second-largest. In the few weeks since passing the 1,000 threshold, the Atlanta bank has added 13 members.

Now there's reason to dance the "Dirty Bird."

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