WASHINGTON

Credit card companies came under fire as some lawmakers and experts blamed them for the tidal wave of consumer bankruptcy filings. Page 2

A judge's recent decision not to block implementation of the new credit union membership rule contained some discouraging words for the banking industry. Page 3

COMMUNITY/REGIONAL

Oregon bankers, once content to stick close to home, are branching out. Page 8

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Asset managers are jumping on the so-called tax-aware bandwagon, with a spate of mutual funds aimed at minimizing investors' tax burden. Page 10

TECHNOLOGY

When the barriers to banking and insurance come down, bankers will find themselves in a world very different from what they had expected, writes Diogo Teixeira of Tower Group. Page 12

NATIONAL/GLOBAL

Foreign banks are likely to increase short-term credit lines to Brazil. "The Brazilian government has asked banks to maintain their trade and interbank lines," says William Rhodes, a Citibank vice chairman and a key figure in talks between U.S. banks and Brazil. "The response has been positive." Page 6

Short-term credit lines have become the financing of choice for bankers and corporate America's chief financial officers. But short-term debt carries its own set of risks for borrowers and banks. Page 4

DIGITAL FRONTIERS

SMART CARDS: Officials of Rainbow Technologies said they are surprised and overwhelmed by the positive reaction to i-Key, a security device it is offering as an alternative to smart cards. Page 15

Working with a French technology company, Mondex International extended the capabilities of its operating system to the security realm. Page 15

MORTGAGES

HOME EQUITY: Associates First Capital's decision to shed 128 U.S. consumer finance branches presented an attractive opportunity to Citigroup's expansion-minded Commercial Credit unit. Page 19

The National Association of Home Builders' housing market index declined for the third month in a row, a sign that the red-hot housing market may cool down significantly this year. Page 19

MARKETS

Financial analysts from Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs dominated the American Banker annual survey of Wall Street sharpshooters. Page 29

A selloff in the financial sector brought an end to a two-week rally for insurer Conseco. Back page

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