Learn what happened in business in today’s past


December 04:

1991: Charles H. Keating, Jr., the kingpin of the savings & loan crisis, is convicted on 17 charges of California state securities fraud. The former chairman of Lincoln Savings & Loan is found guilty of making false statements and omitting disclosures about the risks of junk bonds that were sold to more than 17,000 investors. Those bonds, sold for roughly $250 million, have turned out to be near-worthless. Many of Lincoln's investors were elderly widows, one of whom pummels Keating on the shoulder with her powdered wig when he passes her in the courthouse hallway.

The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 1991, p. A3.

1989: M. Danny Wall, head of the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision, resigns as the top regulator of savings & loan institutions. As the cost of bailing out the nation's "thrifts" rises above $166 billion and charges of fraud swirl around Charles Keating's Lincoln Savings & Loan Association, Wall quits after two years of struggling to get the S&L crisis under control.

The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 1989, pp. A3, A18.

1928: President Calvin Coolidge, in his State of the Union address, makes one of the worst market-timing calls in history: "The requirements of existence have passed beyond the standard of necessity into the region of luxury. Enlarging production is consumed by an increasing demand at home, and an expanding commerce abroad. The country can regard the present with satisfaction and anticipate the future with optimism?." Less than one year later, the Great Depression begins.

Edward Angly, Oh Yeah? (Fraser Publishing Co., Burlington, VT, 1992 ed.), pp 6-7.