Business & Finance: Florida's Shakedown

In Florida last fortnight 25 banks failed. Causes: 1) Halterophora capitata; 2) aftermath of punctured land-booms; 3) gossip. Relative importance of these causes was difficult to determine. It appeared, however, that banks heavily laden with uncollectable land-boom notes found their debtors further handicapped by activities of Halterophora capitata. Exaggeration of conditions then produced disastrous bank runs. Deposits in the closed banks totaled more than $34,000,000.

Halterophora Capitata, informally known as the Mediterranean fruit fly, arrived in Florida mysteriously, probably late last year. Some say it may have traveled in the straw around the liquor-bottles on a rumboat. It is a fly which...

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