Results of a $300 million crash

In Cincinnati, nervous depositors formed lines up to a block long and even slept on sidewalks overnight while waiting to withdraw their savings last week. Ohio Governor Richard Celeste finally stepped in and declared a three- day bank holiday for 71 savings and loan associations, probably the most extensive closure of U.S. financial institutions since the Great Depression. In Memphis, board of education officials were anxiously checking their investments. Elsewhere, communities from Beaumont, Texas, to Pompano Beach, Fla., were badly shaken.

The rapidly growing storm was touched off by the March 4 collapse of E.S.M. Government Securities, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,...

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