A FED survey dispenses an upbeat economic outlook for the New York City region, countering many banking economists in the area. Page 7


BESS ALPAUGH, chief executive of American Marine Bank near Seattle, is no glossy MBA graduate. She hired on as a teller in '49, went off to have a family, and came back nearly two decades later to be the president's secretary. Page 8


IN BUILDING its new asset management unit, NationsBank is doing everything it can to rid the operation of the image and culture of banking. Page 10

KANSAS CITY's Commerce Bancshares is proving that small can be beautiful when it comes to mutual fund performance. Page 11


TREASURY SECRETARY Robert Rubin says a federal community development fund has won a "remarkable response" among banks seeking funds for low-income projects. Congress, however, evinces considerably less enthusiasm as it tries to pull the plug on the program. Page 4

HE BEARS a famous name, but Jesse Jackson Jr., the newest member of the House Banking Committee, aims to make a name of his own in Congress. Page 4


SUBPRIME LOANS, once viewed as the bargain basement at the house of finance, have evolved into a profitable specialty line for mortgage bankers and an important tool to retain borrowers. Page 14


IDEON, owner of SafeCard Services, which markets credit card registration services, has apparently climbed out of a sea of red ink. Its chief executive took advantage of the good news to blast the company's critics. Page 15

A UNIT of Command Credit will begin processing secured cards this spring for New Jersey-based European American Bank. Negotiations reportedly are under way for a similar deal with Natwest. Page 15


THE TREASURY has picked First Union as the recommended provider of electronic transfer processing for federal agencies' nontax receivables. That could shortly mean $40 billion of processing a year, including mortgage and student loan payments. Page 17

INTERACTIVE TELEVISION has suffered another setback. National Westminster is dropping the offering and converting its on-line mortgage service to personal computers. Page 17


THE HEAD OF REUTERS' newly formed risk management unit oversees efforts to help companies manage derivatives risk. But he also must help the wire service shed its image as a novice in the field. Page 22

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