cover image The Daisy Chain: How Borrowed Billions Sank a Texas Sandl

The Daisy Chain: How Borrowed Billions Sank a Texas Sandl

James O'Shea, Author, Jane Rosenman, Editor Atria Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-73303-2

The extent of the S & L disaster--now estimated at $500 billion--continues to grow in impact as the press discloses fresh examples of greed, fraud and incompetence involving accounts, appraisers, lawyers, and bank and government officials, a few of whom must now face televised Senate Ethics Committee investigations. An editor at the Chicago Tribune , O'Shea here offers an astute appraisal of the political, economic and social climate which fostered the thrifts crisis. The author focuses on entrepreneur Donald Dixon's purchase of a seemingly sound, federally insured Vernon, Tex., S & L which--thanks in part to Reagan-era deregulations--allowed Dixon to fund reckless ventures and a lavish lifestyle, despite $3 billion invested in delinquent loans. So huge was the thrift's disarray and fraud by 1986, when federal officials seized it, that O'Shea contends the bank should have been closed, not salvaged. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Mar.)