BANKING: Forced Retreat

Lawrence Mario Giannini, president of the Bank of America, is a frail but stubborn man. When the Federal Reserve Board got a court order last month to block his purchase of 22 banks from Transamerica Corp. (TiME, July 10), Giannini ignored the order. The FRB—and Giannini, too—were well aware that the purchase would cut Transamerica's holdings in California to only four banks, and thus take much of the steam out of the FRB's antitrust suit against Transamerica.

Giannini argued that the FRB had known of the deal for months, and should not have waited until the last minute to object....

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