Business & Finance: Mutual Mess (Cont'd)

Into a Los Angeles court one day last summer marched California's Insurance Commissioner Samuel L. Carpenter Jr. Within 45 minutes he emerged to announce the successful reorganization of Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co., biggest life company on the West Coast with $215,000,000 in assets, $636,000,000 in life policies (TIME, Aug. 24). This looked more like a coup than a reorganization, an impression which was sharpened by the fact that none except those in the know were aware that the 68-year-old institution was in hot water. Upshot was a proper bedlam of litigation, investigation...

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