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Bank failures most since 1992

WASHINGTON — The cascade of bank failures this year surpassed 100 on Friday, the most in nearly two decades. And the trouble in the banking system from bad loans and the recession goes even deeper than the number suggests.

Dozens of other banks remain open even though they are as weak as many that have been closed. Regulators are seizing banks slowly and selectively — partly to avoid inciting panic and partly because buyers for bad banks are hard to find.

The bank failures, 106 in all, are the most in any year since 181 collapsed in 1992.

Food industry drops 'Smart Choices' label

PORTLAND, Ore. —A food industry group is voluntarily halting promotion of its nutrition labeling program after federal regulators said such systems may be misleading consumers, officials with the group said Friday.

Industry leaders launched the "Smart Choices" program in August to identify foods that meet certain nutritional standards and then highlight them for consumers with a green label on package fronts.

But the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that there are so many labeling programs with different criteria that they may mislead consumers about the health benefits of certain foods.

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