A Black Hole For French Banks

Painful mergers, restructurings, and cost cuts lie ahead

Seated in his office in the 18th-century headquarters of Compagnie Financiere de Paribas, Management Board Chairman Andre Levy-Lang seems nervous discussing the outlook for France's flagship investment bank. With good reason. When Levy-Lang kicks off the 1995 reporting season for French banks on Feb. 28, Parisian financiers expect him to report a loss of up to $800 million, the result of the banking and financial conglomerate's lending and investing mistakes.

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