SECTION 1

SETTING

Commercial banks play a critical role in the economic life of people and nations, and this opening section paints this role with a broad brush. Chapter 1, Banking: An Overview, takes a panoramic look at this vital sector, explaining the importance of banks in the national and global economy and presenting basic statistics on bank mergers. Chapter 2, The Bank Regulatory Environment, summarizes the major changes in banking law that have evolved over time, in the years since the financial crisis that began in 2007. Chapter 3, Special Issues for Bank Holding Companies, identifies regulatory issues unique to banks that fit this legal category.

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