The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual-The Biggest Bank Failure in American History

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The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual-The Biggest Bank Failure in American History

Format:  Hardcover,

389 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: Jun 2012

ISBN-13: 9781451617924

ISBN-10: 1451617925

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
During the most dizzying days of the financial crisis, Washington Mutual, a bank with hundreds of billions of dollars in its coffers, suffered a crippling bank run. The story of its final, brutal collapse in the autumn of 2008, and its controversial sale to JPMorgan Chase, is an astonishing account of how one bank lost itself to greed and mismanagement, and how the entire financial industry--and even the entire country-- lost its way as well.

Kirsten Grind's "The Lost Bank "is a magisterial and gripping account of these events, tracing the cultural shifts, the cockamamie financial engineering, and the hubris and avarice that made this incredible story possible. The men and women who become the central players in this tragedy-- the regulators and the bankers, the home buyers and the lenders, the number crunchers and the shareholders--are heroes and villains, perpetrators and victims, often switching roles with one another as the drama unfolds.

As a reporter at the time for the "Puget Sound Business Journal, "Grind covered a story set far from the epicenters of finance and media. It happened largely in places such as the suburban homes of central California and the office buildings of Seattle, but Grind covered the story from the beginning, and the clarity and persistence of her reporting earned her many awards, including being named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Gerald Loeb Award. She takes readers into boardrooms and bedrooms, revealing the power struggles that pitted regulators at the Office of Thrift Supervision and the FDIC against one another and the predatory negotiations of investment bankers and lawyers who enriched themselves during the bank's rise and then devoured the decimated bank in its final days.

Written as compellingly as the finest fiction, "The Lost Bank "makes it clear that the collapse of Washington Mutual was not just the largest bank failure in American history. It is a story of talismanic qualities, reflecting the incredible rise and the precipitous collapse of not only an institution but of trust, fortunes, and the marketplaces for risk across the world.

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: Jun 2012
ISBN-13: 9781451617924
ISBN-10: 1451617925
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 389
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.27
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.43 x 1.31 x 9.47

Chapter outline

Cast of Charactersp. vi
Prologue: Out of Timep. 1
Friend of the Familyp. 9
Remove the Corporate Jetsp. 32
The Power of Yesp. 56
Alexander the Greatp. 79
The Dark Sidep. 111
The Growing Troublep. 146
Scenes from the Great Depressionp. 184
Project Westp. 216
The Final Hoursp. 254
Epilogue: "Barely a Blipp. 307
Acknowledgmentsp. 335
Notes on sourcingp. 339
Notesp. 345
Indexp. 369

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2012-05-15)

When Washington Mutual collapsed amid extensive media coverage, Wall Street Journal reporter Grind, then writing for the Puget Sound Business Journal, provided the earliest detailed accounts; his reporting received a Pulitzer citation. Grind begins her book by laying out the history of the bank and the back stories of the key players involved and chronicling the meteoric growth of "WaMu" from a small local bank struggling to survive in the early 1980s to the largest savings and loan in the United States in 2003. The remainder focuses on how Washington Mutual's $700 billion mortgage business was a house of cards-built on risky loans and questionable business practices-that would prove not to be "too big to fail". It did just that, much to the horror of shareholders, mortgage holders, and the bank's employees.

Verdict: This gripping cautionary tale of unchecked greed and a shortage of ethics will appeal to a wide range of readers from finance junkies to fans of Joseph Finder's corporate fiction.

-Sara Holder, McGill Univ. Lib, Montreal

(c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

During the most dizzying days of the financial crisis, Washington Mutual, a bank with hundreds of billions of dollars in its coffers, suffered a crippling bank run. The story of its final, brutal collapse in the autumn of 2008, and its controversial sale to JPMorgan Chase, is an astonishing account of how one bank lost itself to greed and mismanagement, and how the entire financial industry—and even the entire country— lost its way as well.

Kirsten Grind’s The Lost Bank is a magisterial and gripping account of these events, tracing the cultural shifts, the cockamamie financial engineering, and the hubris and avarice that made this incredible story possible.

The men and women who become the central players in this tragedy— the regulators and the bankers, the home buyers and the lenders, the number crunchers and the shareholders—are heroes and villains, perpetrators and victims, often switching roles with one another as the drama unfolds.

As a reporter at the time for the Puget Sound Business Journal, Grind covered a story set far from the epicenters of finance and media. It happened largely in places such as the suburban homes of central California and the office buildings of Seattle, but Grind covered the story from the beginning, and the clarity and persistence of her reporting earned her many awards, including being named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Gerald Loeb Award.

She takes readers into boardrooms and bedrooms, revealing the power struggles that pitted regulators at the Office of Thrift Supervision and the FDIC against one another and the predatory negotiations of investment bankers and lawyers who enriched themselves during the bank’s rise and then devoured the decimated bank in its final days.

Written as compellingly as the finest fiction, The Lost Bank makes it clear that the collapse of Washington Mutual was not just the largest bank failure in American history. It is a story of talismanic qualities, reflecting the incredible rise and the precipitous collapse of not only an institution but of trust, fortunes, and the marketplaces for risk across the world.

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