The Sturdy House That Kaufman & Broad Built

Bruce Karatz isn't about to let anything get in the way of selling homes. Not California's worst postwar real estate slump. Not the disappearance of hundreds of savings and loans that once financed the state's builders. And certainly not a menacing pair of medieval-style crossed swords hanging over the fireplace of a poor-selling model in a new-home development in Oxnard. The morning after he visited the site, Karatz, chief executive of Kaufman & Broad Home Corp., axed the Gothic decor.

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