Washington Mutual: “Whoo Hoo?” More like “Whoa, who has my money now?”

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[This post was written by Debbie, who has been with Wesabe from the start, and runs communications for us.]

Talk about retail therapy – I have been on a heck of a buying binge the last few weeks. Let’s see, first a few mortgage giants, then a big insurance company, and now I, along with all the other U.S. taxpayers, am looking at buying a whole bunch of bad mortgages and debt from the banking industry. Do these mortgages make my butt look big?

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While still digesting our collective shopping spree, I heard the news tonight that my bank, Washington Mutual, has been shuttered and that JP Morgan has swooped in to “purchase its assets.” Part of the $307 billion in assets that JPMorgan Chase will absorb, according to CNN, includes “WaMu’s toxic subprime and option-ARM mortgages.” Toxic mortgages? Remember just a few short years ago those same ARM mortgages were being breathlessly called “exotic” by brokers? My head.

Just checked my balances on Wesabe and right now at Washington Mutual JPMorgan, I’ve got $9,703.43 in checking and $284.74 in savings. I’m not worried that this money is going to disappear, but I was actually planning to take out $2,000 in cash tomorrow to pay the guys who have been finishing our basement. The FDIC said this transition would be “seamless,” so I’ll let you know how things go when I head to my local branch. I am fortunate not to be part of the nearly half of Americans living paycheck to paycheck (I was, however, in that group for a number of years), but I certainly don’t have $2,000 in the cookie jar.

Last night at the dinner table after I told my four-year-old son Leo that he had to eat some broccoli before he got dessert, he thought for a moment, looked up at me and said, “Yeah, but I don’t have to like it.” And so it is with the bail-out and now with WaMu. Yeah, it looks like you and I going to be buying a bunch of bad debt and that my bank is gone. We understand. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

7 Responses to “Washington Mutual: “Whoo Hoo?” More like “Whoa, who has my money now?””

  1. William Azaroff Says:

    Great post, Debbie.

    My US accounts are at WaMu, and maybe someone needs to tell their CMO about this JP Morgan deal, because I got an email newsletter from them TODAY with the subject line:
    WaMu News | The holidays start today.

    It was a breezy little email telling me to start saving for the holiday… today. Wow, a little insanity.

    Well, at least at the bottom of the email was the tagline:
    Deposits at Washington Mutual are FDIC insured.

    Whoo Hoo!

  2. James Says:

    Your paying the remodelers in cash? Are they illegals? Paying them under the table? 🙂

  3. Forward Thought Says:

    Great post. Very funny. Just started following this blog. Love it!

  4. Aimee Alvarez Says:

    I think this is a great post! I feel the anxiety from across the Atlantic. I lived in the US for many years and have moved to Belgium recently for work. I am looking to move back, but I can’t help but worry about the situation. This is the first time in recent history that we are seeing such a debacle in the economy, or better said economies around the world. What is happening in the US has prompted a domino effect and that is why we hear similar WaMu stories happening across the world.

    Never before did I know so many unemployed people or heard about long lines of people waiting to fill positions at a local supermarket in South Florida.

    I hope our tax money puts a band-aid on banks suffering from “toxic mortgages” and returns some economic pace to Americans and the world.

  5. Debbie P. Says:

    And the prize for who traveled the furthest to comment goes to… Aimee! I’d be really interested to hear what you think the *perception* of the average European is to this crisis. Do they see it as something that the US caused and that is now spreading globally, or is it more like the global economy has been plagued by these bad mortgages and credit problems and the US was simply the first to have to take action?

  6. Dj Says:

    Well, I’m Irish, so here is a single European perspective. I don’t believe the perception is that this is a US caused problem, however, there is a collective sigh of relief that Bush is gone, as he had his head buried up businessmen/bankers behinds, and wasn’t going to do anything to stem the inevitable decline before it arrived.

    In Ireland, our economy is currently pitiful, after being the envy of europe for almost a decade. Now, it’s all crumbled dramatically. Over here, this is the fault of corrupt and greedy bankers, a financial regulator who was patting them on the back when they got away with something, and a government that claimed they could not have seen what was coming, even though the average man on the street was talking about it for months beforehand.

    What has made it much worse is that international banks have no money/confidence to give out, and when our banks got in trouble, there was nowhere to go. I think the US played a big part in the international banks situation, and have a lot to answer for, but Obama will hopefully slowly drag things back into shape.

    I’m rambling now, so I’ll shut up.

    Dj.

  7. WaMu Adventure Part Two: Show Me The Money « Wesabe: Your Money. Your Community. Says:

    […] Your Money. Your Community. The Wesabe blog « Washington Mutual: “Whoo Hoo?” More like “Whoa, who has my money now?” In Layman's Terms: The Economic Crisis and 9/29 Bailout […]

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