Tapped Out

A Knoxville bank goes under

Tennessee Banking Magnate Jake Butcher, 46, used to boast that he rose from rural poverty to wealth and political influence the honest way, by borrowing money. Trouble was, as chief executive of the five banks in his United American Group, Butcher liked to lend money too, and too freely. Among the favored borrowers: Democratic politicians and the bank's directors and their relatives.

Last Monday, State Banking Commissioner William Adams shut down Butcher's flagship, the United American Bank of Knoxville, citing "large and un usual loan losses" at the $760 million institution. It was the fourth largest U.S....

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