Surprise: WaMu is looking for a buyer. From the New York Times:
Goldman Sachs, which Washington Mutual has hired, started the process several days ago, these people said. Among the potential bidders that Goldman has talked to are Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and HSBC. But no buyers may materialize. That could force the government to place Washington Mutual into conservatorship, like IndyMac, or find a bridge-bank solution, which was extended to thrifts in the new housing regulations.
Citigroup is also considering an offer, but would likely be able to buy Washington Mutual only if it emerged from a receivership, according to a person close to the situation. JPMorgan is maintaining its posture that it will not bid unless it receives government support, according to another person briefed on the matter.
I’m not so sure that any bank is in shape to purchase WaMu in its current form. Perhaps it could be broken up into smaller pieces. Its deposit base is probably worth more than anything else on its books right now.
I’m sad. I can remember walking into Washington Mutual Savings in Downtown Everett on the corner of Colby and Pacific with my dad to open up a passbook savings account. I’ve had an account there just about my whole life. My daughter’s school savings accounts are there. I know many people who work at WaMu. I worked at WaMu as a bank teller many years ago under a very smart, savvy woman named Margaret Bradley who was a very fine role model for a young woman like me in the early 1980s. Washington Mutual was “The Friend of the Family.” I bought that old commercial line and repeated it for years.
I know. It’s just a bank. I’ll get over it.
There are many WaMu employees that live and work here in the Seattle area who had much of their retirement investments within WaMu’s stock options. Whatever the outcome, this can’t bode well for our employment numbers here in the greater Seattle area. I’m under the FDIC limit and will keep my accounts open, and will not be moving them to a new bank. I’ll be seeing this through with them.
This makes me wonder if it will be easier for homeowners to get their short sales and loan modifications approved.
Wall St Journal: TPG Move Opens Doors for WaMu
Bloomberg: WaMu’s Biggest Shareholder Waives Compensation Pact
Calculated Risk: WaMu For Sale
Seattle Times: With Stock Sinking, WaMu Appears Headed for Sale
Seattle PI: WaMu Puts Itself up For Sale