His Personal Piggy Bank

Bathed every evening in colored lights and gleaming like a stack of silver dollars, the 48-story CenTrust Tower became the pre-eminent landmark on Miami's skyline in the booming 1980s. The tower was visual testimony to the success of CenTrust Bank, which grew out of near failure seven years ago into the largest savings and loan in the Southeast (peak assets in 1989: $11 billion). But the building took on a gloomier symbolism last month when federal regulators seized the now insolvent thrift and ousted its top executives. As the Government conducts a bailout that could cost $2 billion, federal agencies are...

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