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But it was 1980, South Dakota's economy was a mess, and suspicion was an instinct that Janklow could not afford. "It was very simple,'' said Walter Wriston, then the chairman of Citibank.

"We were going broke.'' The bank had lost more than

But it was 1980, South Dakota's economy was a mess, and suspicion was an instinct that Janklow could not afford. "It was very simple,'' said Walter Wriston, then the chairman of Citibank.

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But it was 1980, South Dakota's economy was a mess, and suspicion was an instinct that Janklow could not afford. "It was very simple,'' said Walter Wriston, then the chairman of Citibank.

"We were going broke.'' The bank had lost more than $1 billion on its audacious foray into the credit card business, and the future looked even worse.

» Graph: Market Share of Top 10 General-Purpose Credit Card Issuers View the effects of consolidation.

In 1990, the top 10 general-purpose credit card issuers had a 56.5 percent share of the market.

billion on its audacious foray into the credit card business, and the future looked even worse.

» Graph: Market Share of Top 10 General-Purpose Credit Card Issuers View the effects of consolidation.

In 1990, the top 10 general-purpose credit card issuers had a 56.5 percent share of the market.

But the concept of far-off banks soliciting the masses with open-ended lines of credit challenged the traditions of small-town lending. People were outraged by what some called usurious temptations, and bankers were flooded by massive defaults."All you have to do is lift the usury ceiling to some reasonable amount and we'll stay here," Mr. We're not going to do anything.'" What allowed Wriston to make good on his threat to leave New York was a little-noticed December 1978 Supreme Court ruling.Wriston recalled telling New York's political leaders. The Marquette Bank opinion permitted national banks to export interest rates on consumer loans from the state where credit decisions were made to borrowers nationwide. Janklow that if South Dakota would quickly pass a bill inviting Citibank into the state, he would bring 400 jobs.In 1966, an incident dubbed "the Chicago debacle" unleashed an intense wave of public venom."The Chicago Debacle" It was just before Christmas when five million cards were dropped by a group of Midwestern banks scrambling to be the first to reach the untapped Chicago market of holiday shoppers.

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