The Head Spinning Split Over Banking

Bankers are having a hard time figuring out what Washington wants from them these days. The Bush Administration, fretting that tight-fisted bankers are hobbling economic recovery, wants more aggressive lending. Congress, worried that another savings and loan mess is about to land on it, has ordered tighter regulation to cut risk. The result: "There's absolute schizophrenia in Washington," complains Edward L. Yingling, chief lobbyist for the American Bankers Assn. "The banking industry feels like the wishbone at Thanksgiving." And bankers should not expect relief any time soon.

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