Betting Billions on a Bank

The Feds come to the rescue of failing Continental Illinois

Huddled behind closed doors in Washington for the past two months, federal officials and bankers feverishly drafted a plan for the biggest bailout of a private company in U.S. history. The group of three dozen rescuers shuttled from one drab Government conference room to another, working 120-hr, weeks and pausing only occasionally to munch on fried chicken or hamburgers. Until the last minute, dozens of details were still undecided. But finally, William Isaac, chairman of the Federal Deposit In surance Corp., announced at a...

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