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Table: Credit Lyonnais' Tangled Tale


APRIL, 1991

California takes over bankrupt insurer Executive Life.

NOVEMBER, 1991

Lyonnais unit Altus buys Executive Life's junk-bond portfolio for $3.25 billion. U.S. law blocks banks from owning insurers, so Lyonnais organizes investor group purchase of Executive Life's insurance interests.

DECEMBER, 1992

French tycoon Francois Pinault buys most of the junk bonds for $2 billion. Lyonnais finances 100%.

NOVEMBER, 1993

Jean Peyrelevade named chairman to stem growing losses at bank.

JULY, 1998

Anonymous French whistle-blower alleges to California Insurance Dept. that Credit Lyonnais was real buyer of Executive Life.

DECEMBER, 1998

Peyrelevade claims he first learns of terms of Executive Life deal. Informs U.S. Federal Reserve.

JANUARY, 1999

Credit Lyonnais is privatized.

FEBRUARY, 1999

California Insurance Dept. files suit against Lyonnais and others. Fed and U.S. Justice Dept. investigate.

JANUARY, 2000

Pinault and his holding company, Artemis, added to California lawsuit.

JUNE, 2001

French government tries diplomatic pressure to halt U.S. probe of Credit Lyonnais.

Data: BusinessWeek


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