Good Ole Bad Boy

A Texas S&L tycoon is indicted, but how many others will the U.S. nab?

For a while, Don Dixon stood tall in Texas. He was big rich, as Texans like to say. A successful real-estate developer, in 1982 he bought a tiny savings and loan in his hometown of Vernon and built it into a giant, at least on paper. By luring deposits from across the U.S. with high interest rates, Vernon S&L grew a spectacular 1,600% in just four years, making it one of the 20 largest thrifts in the state. But the S&L was lending money faster than it was coming in, often to projects on shaky financial footing. Meanwhile, Dixon indulged his...

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