During the 1980s, Citicorp marched into such states as California, Florida, Arizona, and Illinois, dropping hundreds of millions of dollars to buy failed banks and thrifts. The nation's biggest bank company planned to blanket the nation with retail branches and bring "Citibanking" to consumers everywhere.

But then problem real estate loans began to mount, pulling Citicorp's earnings, stock price, and capital down to appallingly low levels. Stripped of the means to expand, the New York-based Goliath pulled back.

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