The Treasury plans to borrow a quarterly record $34.25 billion next week in a series of debt auctions. The schedule calls for $12.5 billion in three-year notes to be sold on Tuesday, $11 billion in 10-year notes to be auctioned on Wednesday and $10.75 billion in 30-year bonds to be offered on Thursday. The Treasury also will auction $12 billion in 161-day cash management bills Thursday.

Bank profits plunged in the third quarter, propelled downward by the worsening condition of banks in New England, the Midatlantic and Southeast, according to a survey by SNL Securities. Banks in the Midwest and West have so far remained remarkably healthy, according to SNL.

Housing affordability reached a two-year high in September because of declining home prices and rising family income, the National Association of Realtors said.

Japan is the world's most thrifty nation with per capita savings of more than $40,000, the International Savings Banks Institute reported. It said Switzerland and Belgium were in second and third places and the United States was 14th.

The Resolution Trust Corp. assured potential purchasers of its guaranteed student loan portfolio that the loans will be backed by the Education Department. The RTC holds about $500 million worth of student loans that it obtained from failed thrifts.

Travelers Corp., a major multi-line insurance company, reported a $499.3 million third-quarter loss, compared with profit of $94.2 million in the same period last year.