In a world in which capital flows around the globe around the clock, the current legislative debate over whether banks should be able to operate branches across state lines seems almost quaint.

Only government intervention could possibly maintain "bricks and mortar" as one of the critical issues facing the U.S. financial sector as it enters the 21st century. There can be no other U.S. industry in which restraint of trade and cartelization masquerade as good public policy with less embarrassment than financial services.

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