BANKING 101—LESSONS. Kids, this financial crisis dramatizes some of the lessons that you would have had if you had taken an intermediate level course in money and banking: Commercial banking requires attention to detail. You have to keep track of paperwork. You have to analyze the riskiness of each decision to extend credit to a borrower. And you have to keep enough liquid assets on hand to meet predictable—and also—unpredictable demands for cash from depositors. All of these things cost money to do, but not doing them is akin to not buying fire insurance.

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