Lyndon Johnson occupied the White House when KeyCorp first began raising its dividend. The Beatles topped the pop charts. Martin Luther King Jr. led tens of thousands of civil rights marchers through Alabama.
For 43 straight years, the company's annual payout climbed, "a record we were extremely proud of," in the words of KeyCorp (KEY) Chief Executive Henry Meyer. That is, until earlier this month. The Cleveland bank, slammed by the weak housing market and an adverse tax ruling, announced that it would halve its dividend to 75 cents in a bid to save $200 million a year. It also said it would seek to raise $1.5 billion in capital.