Republicans chose Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. of Oklahoma to succeed Rep. John A. Boehner, one of the leading proponents of financial services reform, as House Republican Conference chairman. Page 2



Fidelity is moving swiftly to take advantage of Japan's deregulation of financial services. It plans to distribute its funds through 23 Japanese banks. Page 7


American Express and First USA, a Bank One unit, have begun selling prepaid cards to their credit card customers. Page 17


Lenders and their vendors are competing to be first with technology to close loans on-line-and may be approaching the finish line. Page 18


Victor J. Menezes, who succeeded James Dimon three weeks ago as co-head of Citigroup's corporate bank, issued an internal memo announcing the formation of an 18-member operating committee to help oversee the unit's strategic direction. Page 4

J.P. Morgan and Bankers Trust said their own statistical models essentially broke down during the third quarter. Page 3

Two months into his tenure as retail chief at California Federal Bank, Scott A. Kisting has already scored a major victory. Page 3

Technology Page 15


Though financing for leveraged deals is getting trickier, the pace of merger and acquisition activity will remain brisk, a Goldman Sachs investment banker says. Page 29

The high-yield bond market continued its rebound last week, with investors gobbling up $2.2 billion in new securities. Page 29


BankAmerica may report more losses in the fourth quarter resulting from its exposure to D.E. Shaw & Co. Back page


A shift by trade finance banks in favor of U.S. importers is spurring consolidation, bankers say. Page 20

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