President Clinton's recent visits to inner cities to promote corporate investments are commendable. But the initiative is probably destined to fail without a "New Millennium Community Reinvestment Plan" that encourages every type of financial institution to replicate what fewer than two dozen banks have sought to achieve with their $1 trillion in CRA pledges.

In negotiating the financial modernization legislation, the administration may have missed a golden opportunity to leverage inner-city Community Reinvestment Act commitments supported by the Congressional Black Caucus as well as other members of Congress. These reforms could have enhanced legislation that many believe has few tangible consumer or low-income benefits and might, during a severe economic downturn, lead to massive bailouts of megabanks.

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