Bush & Banking Disasters: 1992 highlights

Silverado: Neil Bush and the Savings and Loan Scandal.
By Curzon, LaDonna H. - Mortgage Banking
Subject: Book reviews -Wednesday, January 1 1992

Silverado: Neil Bush and the Savings & Loan Scandal

Among the financial ruins heaped upon the American public by the savings and loan debacle are the remains of a few institutions that have come to symbolize the unfortunate excesses of the 1980s. One of them is the Denver-based thrift that was aptly known as Silverado Banking.

Besides the staggering $1 billion cost to taxpayers, the demise of Silverado was further exploited by the presence of Neil Bush, the president's youngest son. As a member of the board of directors, the 29-year-old Bush gave Silverado first-family connections and social prestige. In the end, the Bush name attracted national headlines and congressional investigations, and, as a result, Silverado became synonymous with the entire S&L fiasco.

Watching it all unfold was Denver Post reporter Steven Wilmsen, who was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reports on the high-flying S&L. His story, based on extensive research involving legal depositions, congressional testimony and regulatory records, documents the malfeasance that ultimately shut the institution down.

This short and entertaining book depicts a brash breed of wheeler-dealers with a penchant for "go-go banking." The setting is in the wild west of Denver - then an oil boom town. If there ever was a perfect setting for a television series, this was it - as Wilmsen notably points out. "Dynasty," it seems now, was what these financial executives wished to recreate for themselves.
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