S&L Hot Seat

Thrift honchos squirm and politicians dither as the economy slides

At the height of his power in the Roaring Eighties, Charles Keating commanded an estimated $100 million personal fortune, controlled $1 billion in financial assets and counted a handful of U.S. Senators among his powerful buddies. Last week he stood as a wretched symbol of the past decade's financial follies. After the former owner of California's bankrupt Lincoln Savings and Loan was indicted on 42 counts of criminal fraud and was unable to raise the $5 million bail, police handcuffed and jailed him. California alleges that Keating bilked investors who bought $250 million of now virtually worthless junk bonds. The state's...

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