Savings And Loans: A Flamboyant Executive Exits

Charles Knapp, whose passion for vintage planes and daredevil business tactics earned him the nickname Red Baron, bailed out last week as chairman of California's troubled Financial Corp. of America (assets: $32.7 billion). The company is the parent of American Savings and Loan Association, the nation's largest thrift institution. Knapp says that he resigned voluntarily, but many industry observers believe he was pressured to leave by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, which regulates S and Ls. Knapp's biggest mistake was to make too many fixed-rate loans that became unprofitable when interest rates rose in the spring. Partly...

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