Housing regulators panned a proposal that would consolidate oversight of government-sponsored enterprises into one agency. Page 2

Central bankers will be able to conduct monetary policy even if banks use sweep accounts to drastically lower required reserve balances, two Fed economists said. Page 3


Old Kent Financial is stepping up its commercial lending efforts in Chicago, where the Grand Rapids, Mich., bank has a small presence. Page 4

When VIRGINIA's Signet Banking agreed this week to be bought by First Union for a lofty price, it made National City in Cleveland very happy. Page 4


A Texas thrift that ruffled feathers when it branched into Illinois last year has put a "for sale" sign on its Chicago-area office. Page 6


ANGELO R. MOZILO, vice chairman and co-founder of Countrywide Credit, discusses the difficulty his competitors have faced in matching its success as a public company, the increased challenge he faces from bank-owned competitors, and the industry's recent forays into subprime lending. Page 8

Freddie Mac has begun, with a $350 million deal, a program under which it would bypass Wall Street and package its own mortgage securities. Page 9


CoreStates Financial is revamping its retirement services program to let employers design their own plans. Page 10


As big-name retailers close stores, lenders are fleeing the retail sector, a new survey shows. About a third have cut lending to retailers, and another 29% said they planned to pull back. Page 12

By summer's end, Chase is expected to bring to market a $600 million loan for Leonard Green in a deal to buy two home improvement retailers. Page 12


For two years, Hypercom pridefully steered clear of the World Wide Web. But it judges now to be the right time to launch an Internet effort and GlobeSet to be the right partner. Page 15


FASB unanimously decided that under certain circumstances so-called hedge accounting will be applied to some derivatives. Back page

Sallie Mae shares gained ground after Institutional Investor Services endorsed dissident shareholders in the student lender's proxy contest. Back page

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