I recently spent three hours with the board of a progressive community bank. I have met with boards before, and I do not feel that my visits are seminal events for most directors.

But I remember one mutual that was wondering whether it should go public. I thought I had convinced the directors that with their goals, the attractiveness of present salaries and benefits, and the solid esprit de corps of the bank, they would be making a mistake to give all that up and center attention largely on profits, which a stockholder-owned institution is forced to do.

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