High Rollers: Inside the Savings and Loan Debacle

High Rollers: Inside the Savings and Loan Debacle

High Rollers: Inside the Savings and Loan Debacle

High Rollers: Inside the Savings and Loan Debacle

Synopsis

"Lowy avoids the easy answers, like blaming it on fraud and greed, and explains how something of this magnitude could occur under the noses of those who should have protected the taxpayer." Paul M. Horvitz, University of Houston Market forces, not scoundrels, destroyed the savings and loan business. Lowy draws on years of experience in savings and loan institutions to provide an expert account of the problems that have overwhelmed the nation's S&Ls and government regulators. The book is written in a clear, readable style that allows Lowy to cogently describe the new market forces, new technologies, and mistakes made by regulators and S&L executives that spelled the end of the savings and loan industry.

Excerpt

A book like this one requires the author to make a great many judgments about people and the policies they pursued. It thus necessarily involves a kind of arrogance, because nobody appointed the author to judge other people. But judging has to be done by somebody. I hope that my experience has prepared me to be judicious and understanding.

A book like this one also involves help from so many people that the writer ends up embarrassed at the length of the list. I conducted more than fifty interviews, was provided with many documents by dozens of law firms and libraries, and was given data by Salomon Brothers, Ferguson & Co., and Cates Consulting. My friends at Coopers & Lybrand were extremely helpful on technical accounting issues. My former partners at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher provided stacks of documents, as did Tom Vartanian. Almost every interview or document involves somebody doing you a favor, with no more reward than the hope that you will use the information responsibly. Many former regulatory staffers consented to be interviewed only because they believed that I would keep their confidences, which I have tried to do, while at the same time conveying to the reader the substance of what they told me. Dick Pratt, Ed Gray, and Danny Wall, former chairmen of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board of whom I am critical, were particularly generous with their time. I'm sorry that some of my judgments may give them pain.

People who assisted me include Ed Barber, Phil Bartholomew, Jeff Bilsky, Jim Butera, Larry Connell, Bill Crawford, Bill Davis, Bob Eager, Bert Ely, Ed Etten, Ann Fairbanks, Bill Ferguson, Tom Gochberg, Roy Green, Mary Grigsby, Merrikay Hall, Michael Herrick, Roger Hood, Paul Horvitz, Don Hovde . . .

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