BANKING: Digging Out of the Bad Debt Mess

Walter Wriston, chairman of First National City Bank of New York, made an unplanned Sunday flight back from sunny Jamaica to snowy Manhattan. David Rockefeller, chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, returned from a stay in Maine and immediately got on the phone in his elegant New York town house.

Both felt they had to draft immediate statements rebutting the scary implications of a story in the Washington Post. Under a headline that sprawled across six columns of the front page, the Post reported that Citibank and Chase had landed on a list kept...

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