The FDIC obtained a 12% stake in the storied National Football League franchise after the failure of First Republic Bank in July 1988. The bank gained the stake after three clients defaulted on real estate loans that used the shares as collateral. NCNB, a Bank of America predecessor that bought First Republic, handled the sale of the stake for the FDIC.
The Resolution Trust Corp. inherited the Mulholland Library of Conjuring and the Allied Arts when First Network Savings failed in 1990. David Copperfield bought the library for $2.2 million, including letters written by Harry Houdini and books dating back to the 1500s.
The FDIC once owned the rights to this never released B-grade horror picture, filmed in 1983 with then-unknowns Charlie Sheen and George Clooney. The plot? A grizzly bear attacks patrons at a rock concert in a national park. The FDIC also held loans secured by the distribution rights to The Happy Hooker, a 1975 soft porn firm.
After Bank of New England failed in 1991, the FDIC became the proud owner of a supposedly haunted house in Salem, Mass. Locals believed that house was haunted by the ghosts of people who were executed more than 300 years ago by the town sheriff, who had once owned the land.
The FDIC temporarily owned more than 100 race horses and breeding horses. Most of the horses had been collateral for loans made by the failed Penn Square Bank in Oklahoma, which failed in 1982.
In 1993, the FDIC obtained the voting rights to a controlling share of the stock in companies that owned casinos, including the Maxim and the Dunes in Las Vegas. The FDIC's involvement was tied to the failure of Eureka Federal Savings and Loan Association in the late 1980s.
The FDIC has owned taxi fleets in California, Arizona and New York, along with interests in oil tankers and fishing boats. In one instance, a hurricane blew an FDIC-owned shrimp boat onto the main street of Aransas Pass, Texas.
At one point, the FDIC obtained a gold mine in Idaho. The FDIC struck out trying to unload the mine until someone cleverly transformed the location into a tourist attraction.
The FDIC is auctioning a collection of jewelry it inherited from the failed Tennessee Commerce Bank, marking the latest in a history of odd assets the agency has inherited through receivership. Ranging from sports franchises and film rights to casinos and taxis, the FDIC has unloaded scores of strange items over the years.
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