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Article Title

Fear of Failing

Authors

Paul M. Horvitz

Abstract

Bailout: An Insider's Account of Bank Failures and Rescues, by Irvine H. Sprague.* New York, N.Y.: Basic Books, 1986. 299 pages. $17.95.

Of the fifty largest bank failures in U.S. history, forty-six were handled by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in such a way that no depositor, insured or uninsured, lost a penny. In contrast, thirty of the fifty smallest banks to fail in the last twenty years were liquidated by the FDIC with uninsured depositors left at risk. Irvine H. Sprague, the author of Bailout: An Insider's Account of Bank Failures and Rescues, was a member of the Board of Directors of the FDIC when many of the decisions involving large bank failures were made. He has given us a readable chronicle of the years he spent there.

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