Date of Award

Spring 1992

Document Type



Business, Accounting & Economics

First Advisor

Jon Krutar

Second Advisor

Ann Bertagnolli

Third Advisor

Dennis Wiedmann


For as long as humanity has existed, so has the need for some means of exchange. Prior to the existence of modern money, people bartered for their needs, using everything from salt to fishhooks as crude forms of money. As people became more sophisticated, so did methods of exchanging one good for another. As early as 2000 B.C., some of the first "banks" were developed. Eventually, coins and paper money were created.

Financial institutions as we know them today are drastically changed from their original simple existence. As a result of increasingly diverse needs, coupled with rapidly changing technology, the structure and functions of financial institutions are becoming continually more complex. Increased regulation and supervision of these institutions have been necessary. Over time, America's financial institutions have been the subject of criticism for their failure to withstand troubled economic times. Inappropriate actions by key leaders of some of our banks and savings and loan associations have resulted in mistrust by the people they serve.

As we find ourselves on the heels of the immense savings and loan industry debacle of the 1980's, we must evaluate where America's financial institutions are headed. Not only is a stable financial system an essential factor in obtaining national economic stability, American citizens also are not willing to support the continued use of government funds for the bailout of failed institutions. By learning from the lessons of history, perhaps we can find a new and safe direction.