Ge's Money Machine

Sears. ITT. Xerox. Westinghouse. All proud names of Corporate America that rushed eagerly into the promised land of financial services in the 1980s. Lured by tantalizing returns, they amassed large positions in real estate lending, consumer finance, and corporate buyouts. Now, battered by severe losses, those adventurers are retreating, anxious to limit exposures and get back to their basic businesses.

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