Think Globally, Bank Locally

Or one day you’ll wake up and find your “The Friendly Bank” has gone bust (via The Washington Post):

Washington Mutual, the nation’s largest thrift, was seized by federal regulators last night and sold immediately to J.P. Morgan Chase for $1.9 billion, avoiding the need for a government bailout of depositors in the troubled company.

The deal narrowly averts a massive hit on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which guarantees most bank deposits. Washington Mutual held far more deposits than any bank that has ever failed. Analysts estimated that a Washington Mutual failure could have soaked up half the money in the insurance fund, forcing a huge increase in the premiums paid to the fund by other banks.

This is hardly worth blogging about. I might as well just come here, type “The Economy Still Sucks (Slightly) More than Bush Thanks to Bush,” and go do something else.

Ah. The S.O. informs me that an analyst on CNN just called Bush a “High functioning moron.”

An angry letter from the High Functioning Morons Society of America is being drafted.

116 Days.

Hmmm. I didn’t catch this earlier this month (via The Washington Post):

We’re entering that exciting phase of any financial crisis when the lawsuits come fast and furious, criminal charges are lodged, and Wall Street firms agree to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for having snookered their customers once again.

In recent weeks, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wachovia have reached settlements with state regulators under which they agreed to pay more than $500 million in fines and penalties. They have also agreed to buy back more than $50 billion in so-called auction-rate securities from retail investors who had been misled into believing that those securities were as safe as shares in money-market funds.

Time to play spot the rhetorical question:

Is the bailout nothing more than a $700 billion temper tantrum?

Still 116 days.

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