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S&L REGULATORS THWARTED MARKET BID, KEATING SAYS

SHARE S&L REGULATORS THWARTED MARKET BID, KEATING SAYS

Charles Keating, former chairman of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, testified that there would have been no losses to taxpayers had the government not taken control of the thrift.

Federal regulators, who seized the Irvine, Calif., thrift last April, have said protecting Lincoln's depositors from losses could cost taxpayers as much as $2.5 billion.The former thrift executive said Tuesday regulators seized Lincoln when "we were just getting started" to market the thrift's real estate assets.

"We were just getting these properties ready to go to market. To take raw land to being fully zoned takes time," Keating said during his second day of testimony at a pretrial hearing in U.S. District Court on a government motion seeking to dismiss a lawsuit Keating filed in May seeking to regain control of Lincoln.

"Given a five-year workout period, there wouldn't need to be a loss at Lincoln," he said.