You could view it as adding injury to insult. Even as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s influence continues to wane, as a consensus in Washington holds, it has also been rebuffed in the courts.

Case in point: A District Court judge ruled in May that the FDIC and NationsBank are jointly liable for $114 million in damages for conspiring to avoid paying their obligations on a long-term office lease between First Republic Bank-Fort Worth and an affiliate of Texas' Prentiss Properties Ltd. The FDIC was the receiver for the failed bank, and NationsBank later bought it. Another Prentiss affiliate is seeking $170 million from the FDIC.

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