West Germany: Where Bankers Are Boss

After more than a decade on top, one of West Germany's richest postwar wonder boys has come tumbling down. A big plunger in coal and steel stocks, Hermann Krages, 53, has seen his investments multiply 25 times since 1948. But though he got rich, he made few friends: Krages often used his minority holdings to badger managements until they bought him out at prices above the market just to be rid of him. The manner of Krages' fall last week told much about the immense power of banks in today's West Germany.

Krages'...

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