Today’s banking systems, from prosperous America to muddled Europe and wobbly Japan, may be in worse shape than is generally assumed. Although large financial institutions face the challenges of the new Euro with confidence, smaller banks are not as well prepared to deal with the world’s changing financial scene. While most banks’ profits continue to come from lending, many have accepted lesser borrowers, and others have entered businesses, such as asset management, that could become less attractive. Given the pressure on banks to earn more profits and the extra risks they have taken, it behooves us to revisit the key issues in banking. This book casts the ongoing changes in money and banking into perspective.