Crédit Lyonnais: Sting in the tail

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Every step you take

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Crédit Lyonnais


More bad news from a 20-year-old bank bail-out



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Plimsolls of contention

Plimsolls of contention

COUNTRIES struggling to return their bailed-out banks to normal (Britain and RBS spring to mind) will take little cheer from France this week. On November 13th the cabinet authorised borrowing €4.5 billion ($6.1 billion) next month to pay off the last of the debt incurred in rescuing Crédit Lyonnais two decades ago. The bank will have cost French taxpayers almost €15 billion in all.
Crédit Lyonnais built what was for a while Europe’s biggest bank in a mad dash for business that included lavish investments in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a film studio, and Executive Life, an American insurer. The rescue was complicated from the outset in 1994 and grew more so with each fresh revelation of disaster.

The authorities set …

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