Man Behind S&L Crisis Dies

Charles Keating, the man who came to represent all that was wrong with 1980s finance and deregulation, passed away late Monday in a Phoenix hospital. In 1989, regulators seized his Lincoln Savings & Loan, which had funded his lavish lifestyle, and the collapse was the most expensive in the country’s history at $3.1 billion. Keating also became notorious for the five senators accused of blocking an investigation by regulators. These politicians, including John McCain, became known as the “Keating Five.” Keating was convicted (though it was later overturned) of defrauding thousands of customers by pressuring them to swap federally insured deposits for junk bonds his company pushed. “He took their life savings and spent them on mansions, pleasure boats, private airports, indulgences of virtually every whim he and his family had,” Alice Hill, one of the federal prosecutors on the case, said at the time.