IN THE WAKE of the Mexican peso crisis, Latin American banks have been struggling to come to grips with skittish investors and fleeing deposits. Despite the difficulties, banks in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile are consolidating and spending money to improve their systems. Pullout section


THOUGH ELVIS is dead, you can still get him to pay for your groceries or even a trip to Graceland if you get the new credit card, in his image, from Leaders Federal Bank for Savings in Memphis. Page 22


SEPARATE PLANS to rescue the thrift insurance fund were approved in House and Senate budget packages last week, and the banking committees are now preparing to reconcile differences between the two versions. Page 2

COMPTROLLER Eugene A. Ludwig told a public affairs group that efforts to modernize banking laws and regulations have not been nearly bold enough. Page 2


THE MAJOR THRIFTS on the West Coast reported generally strong earnings for the September quarter. Fatter-than-expected rate spreads and one-time gains pushed many of their earnings above analysts' expectations.

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FED VICE CHAIRMAN Alan Blinder took a tour through the mean streets of Los Angeles recently in search of some new perspectives. Page 11


AG LENDERS in California's arid San Joaquin Valley look for a farmer's water source before they leap into doing business. Page 7


THIS WEEK's annual meeting could be the last conventional one for the Credit Union National Association as it is presently constituted. The venerable trade group is in the midst of a top-to-bottom self-examination directed by a select committee charged with gathering ideas for reform from across the industry. Page 16

THANKS TO falling interest rates, fewer credit unions lost money in the first half of 1995 than a year earlier.

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LAS VEGAS will be 1996's mortgage origination hot spot, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association study of the 60 most-populated housing and mortgage markets. In fact, the Sun Belt dominates the list of promising prospects.

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EXECUTIVES at several leading mortgage banks have worked up a new set of quality control standards they are asking the industry to adopt. The measures call for products and procedures to be inspected well before loans are made.

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ANNUITY SALES at banks and thrifts fell during the second quarter as many investors flocked to federally insured certificates of deposit.

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IN RECENT YEARS banks have flocked to the mutual fund management business in search of fee income bonanza. But they have little in earnings to show for their efforts.

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MANY BANK TECHNOLOGY stocks took a dive last week, despite generally higher third-quarter earnings reports.

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HOME LENDERS are struggling with how to streamline the operations-heavy processing of mortgages. Page 24


CONCERNS OVER the quality of home equity loans at Money Store helped cool investor ardor for consumer lenders last week, causing a dramatic selloff in some of the year's hottest stocks.

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SOMETIME in the middle of November, banks will be allowed to reposition their securities portfolios without penalty into three categories. The change could mean a golden opportunity for less-active banks.

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