Roadkill along the business highway;
        George Putnam's list of 1995's top ten financial fiascos

            BOSTON--Dec. 26, 1995--What do the U.S.
        government, Japanese banking, Smith Corona Corp. and Orange County,
        Calif., have in common?  

            They're all on George Putnam III's year-end list of the greatest
        financial fiascos of 1995.

            Boston-based Putnam, America's foremost source of research on
        bankruptcy and companies in default on their securities, spends most
        of his time in the deadly serious pursuit of gold amid the dross of
        failure.  But once a year, he steps back from his solemn labors for
        a quick review of the business world's gaffes.

            "After all," he said, "we have year-end lists of the Ten Richest
        People, Top Ten News Stories, Best Dressed Women, Greatest Athletes,
        Best Movies -- for all I know, even the ten tastiest hamburgers, if
        that's not an oxymoron.  So I think there's a place for my list of
        the ten most notable financial fiascos."

            George Putnam is known as "Bankruptcy's Boswell" because of his
        ability to chronicle the detritus of the business world.  His firm,
        New Generation Research Inc.,
publishes the annual "Bankruptcy
        Yearbook & Almanac
," which comes out every April.

            This substantial tome has become the bible of each year's
        corporate disasters.  No self-respecting professional in the
        bankruptcy field can afford to be without its treasure of
        information on the dark side of the American Dream.  Compiling its
        pages helps Putnam glean many of the insights he shares with his
        clients -- and draw up his annual fiasco list as well.

            If you insist on seriousness, Putnam also provides a list of the
        ten biggest bankruptcies of 1995, which will be included in his 1996
        Bankruptcy Yearbook & Almanac:

            Company                         Assets
            -------                         ------
        1)      Dow Corning Corp.               $4.09 billion
        2)      Southwestern Life Corp.         $3.15 billion
        3)      Trans World Airlines Inc.       $2.49 billion
        4)      Grand Union Co.                 $1.39 billion
        5)      Rockefeller Center Prop.        $1.25 billion
        6)      Caldor Corp.                    $1.14 billion
        7)      Lomas Financial Corp.           $1.08 billion
        8)      Edison Bros. Stores Inc.        $ 894 million
        9)      Bradlees Inc.                   $ 885 million
        10)     Harrah's Jazz Co.               $ 665 million

            But those are just the biggest, not necessarily the most
        notable, according to Putnam.  Here, in ascending order, are the
        year's ten most notable fiascos, in his view:

            10)  Professional Athletics.  "Here's an early warning if there
        ever was one," he said, "and I'm not just referring to runaway
        owners like Art Model of the ex-Cleveland Browns and Bud Adams of
        the ex-Houston Oilers, whatever the courts decree about their moves.

            "Baseball is already paying the price of cupidity, and
        basketball and hockey can't keep dodging bullets forever.  The main
        problem with professional athletics is the exploding cost structure.
        The fans are being pauperized.  And how can they maintain loyalty to
        players zipping through temporarily, who are nothing more than a
        bunch of mercenary soldiers? When the fans lose heart, watch out for
        your city stadium and arena bonds."

            9) and 8) Lomas Financial and Trans World Airlines.  "TWA ranks
        higher only because it's bigger," said Putnam.  "Otherwise they tie
        because they're examples of a new trend in Chapter 11 bankruptcies.
        They couldn't go broke right the first time, so now they've tried it
        again.  We're calling it `Chapter 22.'"  

            7) Rockefeller Center, another joint winner by size as well as
        sadness.  "This one makes me shake my head when I think what has
        happened to two distinct icons at once.  You've got the Rockefeller
        family's long heritage of financial strength and public service.
        And you've got the whole idea of Japan's vaunted business savvy.
        This bankruptcy discredited them both."  

            6) Smith Corona Corp. "This makes my list because it's a sad
        symbol of all the losers in modern technological progress.  I, for
        one, get a pang whenever a grand old company goes down.  Of course
        Smith Corona also is an example of sitting behind what seems like a
        fortress franchise, only to find that it's built on quicksand."  

            5) Dow Corning.  "Not only the year's biggest, but also one of
        the most indicative of modern times.  Here's a lawyers' bankruptcy
        if you ever saw one," said Putnam.  "Just the possibility of
        lawsuits now makes mighty companies run for cover."  

            4) Harrah's Jazz Casino in New Orleans.  "The most spectacular
        implosion of the year.  Their bonds went from 85 cents on the dollar
        to 25 cents in just three days.  And the entire project is still
        nothing more than an expensive hole in the ground."  

            3) Caldor.  "The year's fastest debacle.  They reported a profit
        for the quarter ended July 31 and filed for Chapter 11 in mid-
        September.  I give them the Wyatt Earp Award for quick-draw
        bankruptcy.  Related to this is my Groundhog award, which goes to
        Jamesway.  They peeked out of Chapter 11 to test the weather, and
        then they must have seen their shadow because they scampered right
        back into bankruptcy again a few months later."  

            2) Orange County.  "Filed in
December 1994, still working all
        through '95.  It's quite unusual for a municipal bond issuer with
        taxing power to default," Putnam said.  "But if you use public funds
        to buy derivatives and make a leveraged bet that interest rates will
        only move one direction, you might as well be playing Russian
        roulette -- with five bullets."  

            1) As for 1995's fiasco championship, "I declared it a tie,"
        said Putnam, "between Japanese banking and the U.S. government.
        We're seeing the end game of Japan Inc.'s financial strategies.
        They worked well for decades, but like everything, they finally ran
        up against reality.

            "Now the Japanese government says it'll bail out the banks, but
        not use taxpayers' money.  Don't believe it, and don't underestimate
        the chaos in Japanese banking these days."

            Why the U.S. government?  "I know, you could say this every
        year," Putnam admits.  "But this year's battle over the budget, with
        the threats from the Administration over the possibility of default
        on the U.S. debt -- this takes the cake.  While the U.S. won't ever
        go bankrupt, this is like a bankruptcy in that there are no winners
        in this fiasco, and many losers."  

            Putnam's firm, New Generation
Research Inc.
, 225 Friend Street,
        Suite 801, Boston, Mass. 02114, is a comprehensive resource center
        for information on bankruptcies and turnarounds.  

            It publishes The
Bankruptcy Yearbook & Almanac
, The Bankruptcy
        DataSource, The Turnaround Letter and The Troubled Company
        Prospector.  It also provides customized research from its extensive
        database on bankruptcies.

            Its affiliate, New Generation Advisers Inc., provides investment
        management services with respect to distressed securities.

            Note to Editors:  George Putnam is available for further
        comments at 617/573-9550.

        CONTACT:  New Generation Research Inc., Boston,
                  George Putnam, 617/573-9550

Search Capital receives court approval to
        submit plan of reorganization to creditors for vote

            DALLAS--Dec. 26, 1995--Search
Capital Group,
(SRCG.OB) today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has
        approved its disclosure statement and joint plan of reorganization
        for eight of Search's subsidiaries operating under bankruptcy
        protection since August 1995.  

            The announcement was made by Search Chairman and Chief Executive
        Officer George C. Evans.  

            Evans said he expects Search to mail the joint plan to creditors
        this week for their vote.  

            "Search's goal from the beginning was to reach a consensual plan
        of reorganization in a timely manner," said Evans.  "Clearly, we are
        very pleased that we are at the voting stage of the reorganization
        process within four months after the filings."  

            Evans emphasized that the joint plan is a consensual plan of
        reorganization supported by the official creditors committee which
        represents creditors of Search's subsidiaries.  The joint plan was
        agreed upon after three months of intense negotiations between
        Search and the creditors committee, as well as extensive financial
        analysis of the subsidiaries' assets and recovery options by
        Search's financial advisors, Alex. Brown & Sons, and the creditors
        committee's financial advisors.  

            According to documents filed with the court, the joint plan
        involves approximately $68 million of debt issued by the
        subsidiaries of which about $53 million is secured.  The debt is
        owed to approximately 4,500 creditors nationally.  

            The joint plan provides creditors two recovery options.  One
        option allows creditors to exchange their debt in the subsidiaries
        for equity in Search.  The Search equity includes a combination of a
        new class of convertible preferred stock, with cash dividends paid
        retroactively to July 1, 1995, and common stock.  

            The other option provides for the creditors' collateral which
        secured their investment (e.g. cash, automobile loan contracts,
        vehicles) to be transferred to a new trust established by the
        creditors committee.  The new trust would either sell the collateral
        or continue to service the loan contracts.  

            According to Evans, Search's equity option represents a
        "purchase" of the collateral at a premium while giving investors
        marketable securities which provide upside potential to creditors
        over-and-above their original investment.  

            Evans said he believes the creditors will vote to accept the
        joint plan by the required amounts and that it would be confirmed by
        the court in mid-February 1996.  He noted that upon confirmation of
        the joint plan and the infusion of new equity, Search will be in a
        position to execute long-term financing commitments to fund Search's
        future growth.  

            Search Capital Group, Inc. is a specialized financial services
        company engaging in the purchase, management, and securitization of
        used motor vehicle receivables.  Search shares (SRCG.OB) are
        currently being traded on the OTC Bulletin Board.  

        CONTACT:  Stern, Nathan & Perryman,
                  Chris Anderson, 214/373-1601