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An overhaul of us banking laws seemed virtually certain after Congress and the White House hammered out a historic compromise. The deal would allow all banks to offer customers the opportunity to trade stocks and buy insurance, something only big banking chains do under existing law. Conversely, brokerages and insurers would be able to offer a full range of banking services. Existing regulatory agencies would continue to oversee their respective areas of financial activity. If passed by Congress and signed by the president, as expected, the proposed legislation will take effect next year.

A strike threat by dockworkers led thousands of Hawaiians to stock up on food and other essentials, as contract negotiations resumed in Honolulu among four shipping companies and International Longshore and Warehouse Union officials. The new talks came after 507 dockworkers voted to authorize a strike. Hawaii gets 90 percent of its goods via ship.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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