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During the 1980s, a large number of savings and loan depository institutions in the United States failed or suffered severe financial distress because of changing financial regulations, widespread financial mismanagement, and a surge of financial crimes perpetrated by, in many instances, officers of the affected institutions. This wave of financial failures, unprecedented since the difficult economic years of the Great Depression, came to be known as the savings and loan scandal. Ironically, the earlier success of the savings and loan institutions in fulfilling their intended mission laid the groundwork for this descent into financial ruin.

The origins of the savings and loan scandal in the United States lay in the changing economic and political environment of the 1970s. Savings and loans institutions, also called thrift institutions, ...

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