Dad Would Make a Deal with the Devil

Of all the fast-buck artists who contributed to the savings and loan crisis, Herman Beebe Sr. is among the most notorious. Rising from an impoverished boyhood in Louisiana's woods, Beebe had built, by the early 1980s, a $150 million financial empire that stretched across the Sunbelt. But the brash, stocky financier was actually a ringleader in a network of good ole boys who helped ruin more than a dozen savings institutions by handing out as much as $10 billion in reckless loans -- some of which ended up in Beebe's own pocket. Recalls Beebe's son Ken, who worked for him: "Dad...

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