WASHINGTON

The Federal Reserve Board eased collateral requirements for loans partially secured by banking company obligations. Page 2

The Senate Finance Committee unanimously supported the confirmation of Gary Gensler as Treasury under secretary for domestic finance. Page 2

REGIONAL

Hibernia's stalled deal to buy a Louisiana community bank is showing new signs of life, but executives at both companies said that the outcome is far from certain. Page 4

CORPORATE FINANCE

Investors plowed a record amount of cash into private equity funds in 1998, capping a seven-year run-up in the asset class. Page 6

The crisis in Brazil is creating a new set of problems for bankers who lent that country's companies more than $4 billion in 1998. Page 6

MARKETS

In the latest installment of a long industry debate, a Wall Street analyst is reasserting the once-familiar stance that bigger banks are not necessarily better banks. "It is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the conclusion that skill matters and scale doesn't," says Sean J. Ryan of Bear Stearns. Page 25

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Securities regulators and a nonprofit foundation are helping high school students learn their financial ABCs. Page 8

MORTGAGES

Freddie Mac is predicting an economic slowdown, but they say 1999 will be a good year for the housing market. Page 10

Fannie Mae and the National Association of Home Builders announced a joint initiative to help people buy newly constructed homes. Page 10

CARDS

GE Capital has introduced a corporate card program denominated in euros that it expects to be useful for multinational clients. Page 13

COMMUNITY

HORIZON FINANCIAL said it has a deal to buy in-town competitor Bellingham Bancorp. of Washington for $15.5 million of stock. Page 15

TECHNOLOGY

Despite its record earnings in the company's second quarter, investors sold shares of Jack Henry & Associates. Page 16

The Internet has put momentum behind Bolero Operations' automated system for traders. Page 17

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