Straight Talk — Advice for tough times

Many of the bankers I talk to tell me lately they are working harder and making less – a recipe for irritableness if ever there was one. Things changed in a hurry. Only 18 months ago, the economy was strong and banks were reporting record profits. Last month, the FDIC reported that 56 percent of the nation’s banks reported lower earnings for the second quarter. In the Upper Midwest, almost 13 percent of banks actually lost money. A larger percentage of banks lost money in Minnesota (16.78 percent); Colorado (16.56 percent); Missouri (15.21 . . .

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