The big banks raise prime rates to 19%

Virtually all of the nation's largest banks raised their prime rates to 19 percent from 18 percent Monday in response to a sharp increase in the cost of bank money. The action followed a report late Friday that the nation's money supply grew $4.2 billion in the latest week, leaving the growth at around $12 billion since late March. The federal funds rate, which banks charge for overnight loans, a prime source of bank money, had been trading in the 18-to-21 -percent range for the previous five banking days.

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