News In Brief


Well-meaning friends of Douglas Couvertier have been telling him something he really doesn't want to hear: "You're going to win!" True, the Southwest Ranches, Fla., resident is a candidate for town council. But he wishes he weren't and has been asking people not to vote for him. It seems Couvertier, a chief in the Miami-Dade Fire Department, learned last week that rules forbid county employees from holding elective office - and he's three years from retirement. It's too late to remove his name from the ballot. So, if elected, he vows to resign immediately.


No one likes to fail. But because people do, two Scarsdale, N.Y., business partners sense a way to profit from it. Jason Zasky and Kathleen Ervin have launched a new Web magazine devoted to some of history's notable flops. They don't expect ever to run out of material. But, they maintain, will take the attitude that "the biggest failure is not trying."

It's a buyers' market for bank customers, study finds

Is there a consumer sector more competitive than banking, especially in this era of mergers? It's not common anymore for a bank to advertise, say, free toasters as a lure for new depositors. Today, "free" tends to mean no charge for checking or the use of automated teller machines. In fact, a new survey by the Washington-based American Bankers Association reports that almost half of respondents say their banks charge no fee for such services. Why? Because, says ABA executive vice president Donald Ogilvie: "Most consumers shop around ... looking for the best combination of price, service, and convenience." The amounts respondents said they're charged per month for financial services, and the percentage who pay each:

Nothing 46%

$3 or less 13%

$3 to $6 11%

$6 to $8 7%

$8 to $10 8%

More than $10 9%

No answer 7%

- PRNewswire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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