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Traditional banking is a difficult, commoditized service business, shorn of products that make fat profits. That's the reality that no one ever speaks of when they cry out to revive Glass-Steagall or when they wax poetic about the joys of small-town banking.
Recently, the yearly reading of "Howl" at Columbia University attracted crowds to the Philosophy Hall. An irony was not missed: in his days, Allen represented rebellious youth. Now, he is the poet of our time.