Самое значительное банковское банктротство в Истории США

Крупнейший сберегательный и заёмный банк Америки, «Вашингтон   

              Мьючуэл» закрылся в четверг, 24 сентября.


              In this July 25, 2008 file photo, a Washington Mutual branch ...


              WaMu scrapes the sky by James Callan.


wamu atm by TheTruthAbout....


                 The JP Morgan Chase headquarters in New York is seen in March ...


By ERIC DASH and ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, Published: September 25, 2008


Washington Mutual, the giant lender that came to symbolize the excesses of the mortgage boom, was seized by federal regulators on Thursday night, in what is by far the largest bank failure in American history.

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Regulators simultaneously brokered an emergency sale of virtually all of Washington Mutual, the nation’s largest savings and loan, to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion, averting another potentially huge taxpayer bill for the rescue of a failing institution.


The move came as lawmakers reached a stalemate over the passage of a $700 billion bailout fund designed to help ailing banks, and removed one of America’s most troubled banks from the financial landscape.


Customers of WaMu, based in Seattle, are unlikely to be affected, although shareholders and some bondholders will be wiped out. WaMu account holders are guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation up to $100,000, and additional deposits will be backed by JPMorgan Chase.


Many WaMu employees came to work Friday wondering about their jobs. JPMorgan executives said that it was too early to know how many employees might be laid off, but industry analysts said the number could be as high as 5,000. Analysts expect the bank to close about 540 branch sites, many that overlap with JPMorgan offices.


By taking on all of WaMu’s troubled mortgages and credit card loans, JPMorgan Chase will absorb at least $31 billion in losses that would normally have fallen to the F.D.I.C.


JPMorgan Chase, which acquired Bear Stearns only six months ago in another shotgun deal brokered by the government, is to take control Friday of all of WaMu’s deposits and bank branches, creating a nationwide retail franchise that rivals only Bank of America. But JPMorgan will also take on Washington Mutual’s big portfolio of troubled assets, and plans to shut down at least 10 percent of the combined company’s 5,400 branches in markets like New York and Chicago, where they compete. The bank also plans to raise an additional $8 billion by issuing common stock on Friday to pay for the deal.


Washington Mutual, with $307 billion in assets, is by far the biggest bank failure in history, eclipsing the 1984 failure of Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust in Chicago, an event that presaged the savings and loan crisis. IndyMac, which was seized by regulators in July, was one-tenth the size of WaMu.


But fears of the fallout from the government takeover of a big bank were balanced with the removal of one of the largest remaining clouds looming over the banking industry.


“This institution was a big question mark about the health of the deposit fund,” Sheila C. Bair, the chairwoman of the F.D.I.C., said on a conference call Thursday. “It was unique in its size and exposure to higher risk mortgages and the distressed housing market. This is the big one that everybody was worried about.” She said that the bank’s rapidly deteriorating condition prompted regulators to seize it Thursday, and not on a Friday as is typical for bank closures.


For weeks, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department were nervous about the fate of WaMu, among the worst-hit by the housing crisis, and pressed hard for the bank to sell itself. Washington Mutual publicly insisted that it could remain independent, but the giant thrift had quietly hired Goldman Sachs about two weeks ago to identify potential bidders. But nobody could make the numbers work and several deadlines passed without anyone submitting a bid.


But as panic gripped financial markets last week after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, WaMu customers started withdrawing their deposits. The government then stepped up its efforts, at points going behind WaMu’s back to work privately with four potential bidders on a deal. On Wednesday afternoon, the government solicited formal written bids. On Thursday morning, regulators notified James Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, that he was the likely winner.“We are building a company,” Mr. Dimon said in a brief interview. “We are kind of lucky to have this opportunity to do this. We always had our eye on it.”


But the seizure and the deal with JPMorgan came as a shock to Washington Mutual’s board, which was kept completely in the dark: the company’s new chief executive, Alan H. Fishman, was in midair, flying from New York to Seattle at the time the deal was finally brokered, according to people briefed on the situation. Mr. Fishman, who has been on the job for less than three weeks, is eligible for $11.6 million in cash severance and will get to keep his $7.5 million signing bonus, according to an analysis by James F. Reda and Associates. WaMu was not immediately available for comment.


The government has dealt with troubled financial institutions differently. Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, which were less entangled with the rest of the financial system, were allowed to collapse. But the government took emergency measures to stabilize Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and the American International Group, the insurance giant.


Federal regulators had been trying to broker a deal for Washington Mutual because a takeover by the F.D.I.C. would have dealt a crushing blow to the federal government’s deposit insurance fund. The fund, which stood at $45.2 billion at the end of June, has been severely depleted after suffering a loss from the sudden collapse of IndyMac Bank. Analysts say that a failure of Washington Mutual would have cost the fund as much as $30 billion or more.


The deal will end WaMu’s 119-year run as an independent company and give JPMorgan Chase branches in California and other markets where it does not have a big presence. Until recently, Washington Mutual was one of Wall Street’s strongest performers. It reaped big profits quarter after quarter as its then chief executive, Kerry K. Killinger, enlarged its presence by buying banks on both coasts and ramping up mortgage lending.


His goal was to transform what was once a sleepy Seattle thrift into the “Wal-Mart of Banking,” which would cater to lower- and middle-class consumers that other banks deemed too risky. It offered complex mortgages and credit cards whose terms made it easy for the least creditworthy borrowers to get financing, a strategy the bank extended in big cities, including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. With this grand plan, Mr. Killinger built Washington Mutual into the sixth-largest bank in the United States.


But underneath the hood, the bank’s machinery was failing.


Then the housing market began to crumble. Like so many other financial institutions, the bank tried to hedge its mortgage bets — but did so poorly. It retrenched on its branch-building ambitions. But none of that was enough to deflate ballooning losses on mortgage loans, nor defuse ticking time bombs like interest-only and pay-option amortization products that had reeled in bottom-grade borrowers.


With rising mortgage payments and higher gas and food bills, WaMu’s losses in its big credit card loan portfolio also surged.


By then, however, WaMu’s troubles had set off alarm bells on Wall Street, which ground its share price down daily.


With options narrowing, WaMu frantically reached out to several banks and big private equity firms, including the Carlyle Group and the Blackstone Group.


In March, JPMorgan Chase saw an opportunity and urged WaMu in a letter to consider a quick deal. On the same weekend that Mr. Dimon negotiated his daring takeover of Bear Stearns, he secretly dispatched members of his team to Seattle to meet with WaMu executives. When JPMorgan Chase offered WaMu $8 a share, largely in stock. But Mr. Killinger balked at the deal.


In April, David Bonderman, a founder of the TPG private equity firm, and a group of institutional investors agreed to infuse $7 billion of capital into the bank. Mr. Killinger kept his job, and Mr. Bonderman, who had served as a WaMu director from 1997 to 2002, returned with a board seat and 176 million WaMu shares priced at about $8.75 each — steep discount of more than 25 percent to that day’s share price.


While the deal was sweet for Mr. Bonderman, it eroded the value for existing shareholders, enraging them. They moved on June 2 to strip Mr. Killinger of his chairmanship. Mr. Bonderman, meanwhile, watched his golden bet turn to dross. In a statement Thursday, TPG said: “Obviously, we are dissatisfied with the loss to our partners from our investment in Washington Mutual.”


      Деньги и выборы: так ли нужны Америке обамовские «ПЕРЕМЕНЫ»?


23. 09. 2008 12:55 | www.rian.ru, Светлана Бабаева, политический обозреватель РИА Новости (Вашингтон). В субботу правительство США в лице главы Минфина Генри Полсона предложило финансовым рынкам пакет спасительных мер стоимостью 700 млрд. долларов – самый крупный в истории финансовой системы США, направленный на поддержку частного сектора. Представляя пакет Конгрессу, Полсон попросил не очень на него набрасываться, а принять, по возможности, без серьезных изменений и дополнений.


Как бы не так! Уже в воскресенье политики начали активно комментировать, чего в пакете недостает, на кого он не направлен и кто выиграет прежде всего от антикризисных мер.


В принципе, все комментаторы могут быть поделены на две большие группы: тех, кто считает, что пакет мер дает излишние полномочия регулирующим органам, и тех, кто считает, что он защищает совсем не тех, кого надо.


К примеру, кандидата в президенты от республиканцев Джона МакКейна уже обвинили в том, что он больше попустительствует интересам компаний с Уолл-стрит, а главное, их топ-менеджерам, бонусы и зарплаты которых требуют вообще отдельной ревизии. Намекали на 100-миллионное состояние супруги МакКейна – дескать, конечно, богатые защищают прежде всего себя и лишь в пятую очередь думают о том, каково сегодня тем, на ком «висят» ипотечные займы, мелким инвесторам и вообще среднему американцу. При том, что МакКейн уже высказался на тему бонусов менеджерам и о том, что необходимо весьма тщательно контролировать, как антикризисная помощь будет расходоваться.


Демократов, в свою очередь, критикуют либеральные экономисты и отчасти сами инвестиционные компании за то, что они, дескать, наоборот, хотят сосредоточить основные регуляторные функции в руках правительства. Тем самым подрывается самая американская идея сильного рынка и свободной конкуренции. Любопытно, что про демократов тоже говорят, что они в первую очередь думают об игроках с Уолл-стрит, а не о людях с Мэйн-стрит (т.е. об обычных гражданах Америки), хотя сам кандидат от демократов Барак Обама заявил: «Налогоплательщики не должны потратить и десяти центов, чтобы вознаградить топ-менеджеров с Уолл-стрит».


Ситуация вокруг правительственной помощи частному сектору породила яростные споры вокруг нескольких ключевых социальных и экономических тем.


Первая – может ли правительство столь щедро распоряжаться финансовыми средствами в условиях самого большого за последние 25 лет бюджетного дефицита. По подсчетам экономистов, в 2009 году дефицит бюджета США может составить 3,6% ВВП, в то время как в течение последних 40 лет он колебался в пределах 2,4 % и лишь в 1983 году достиг 6-процентной отметки. Но тогда администрация и занялась, по сути, перестройкой  всей экономики.


При этих цифрах, однако, оба кандидата в президенты говорят, что сокращение налогов – реально. МакКейн говорит о сокращении корпоративного налога на доходы (следовало бы сказать: дальнейшего сокращения, поскольку первое несколько лет назад провела администрация Буша), Обама – о снижении налогов для бедных и средних домохозяйств. И оба при этом обещают возместить выпадающие доходы бюджета, не вдаваясь, впрочем, в детали.


В эти дни начали обсуждать и вторую тему, прямо связанную с первой, – готов ли будет мир и дальше «финансировать американскую мощь»? «Русские ветовали резолюцию по Ираку, но они покупают американские активы», – сказал на недавних дебатах по американской внешней политике Себастиан Мэллаби, директор Центра геоэкономических исследований.


Он напомнил, что значительное число американских бумаг находится в руках русских, китайцев и других. Захотят ли иностранцы и дальше финансировать бюджетный дефицит США? У Мэллаби такой уверенности нет, особенно в среднесрочной перспективе, когда текущие кризисные явления будут преодолены. Однако если иностранные инвесторы начнут отказываться от долларовых бумаг, это повлечёт ещё более серьезные последствия для американской экономики.


Вкупе с сиюминутными рассуждениями о судьбах инвестиционных банков, топ-менеджеров с Уолл-стрит и американских налогоплательщиков, тем не менее, ведутся и другие диспуты. Один из наиболее примечательных: а что реально теперь хочет обычный американец?


Вопрос, на самом деле, не простой. Дело в том, что когда борьба президентских кандидатов только выходила на финишную прямую, многие, даже не сильно симпатизирующие демократам, признали: Обама молодец, одним из главных лозунгов своей кампании он сделал тезис о том, что Америке «нужны перемены».


Ещё недавно наблюдатели даже подсчитывали, сколько раз в тот или ином своем выступлении Обама произносил слово «changes» (изменения, перемены). Это касалось всего: и внешней политики США, особенно в той части, что касается Ирака, Ирана, вообще регионов, с которыми США своей прямолинейностью испортили отношения в последние годы. Это касалось и внутренних дел: того же бюджетного дефицита, серьезных изменений в экономике за последние 8 лет.


Как грустно заметил один из экспертов, «мы теперь живем в другой стране, и это связано не только с 11 сентября». Он имел в виду, что из образца для подражания – демократического, экономического, Америка за годы президентства Буша превратилась в турбулетную страну, которая больше раздражает, чем привлекает; больше создаёт проблем (в том числе, и своим гражданам), чем решает их.


Однако в последние дни ситуация на финансовых рынках немного изменили взгляд на вещи. И появились иные воззрения: а так ли нам сейчас нужны перемены? Не хватит ли нам уже этих перемен?


Вообще, хочется как-то стабильности и «старой, доброй Америки». Понятно, что условиях глобального перетока капиталов и колоссальной экономической взаимозависимости никакой «старой, доброй» быть уже не может. Но ведь это не означает, что люди не могут об этом мечтать. Тем более что процент тех, кто будет делать свой выбор в пользу того или иного кандидата в последний момент, по-прежнему высок.


Так что ситуация вокруг американских финансов может стать одним из решающих факторов в президентской гонке, которая выходит на финишную прямую. До её финала осталось меньше полутора месяцев; эксперты же полагают, что раньше конца года финансовую ситуацию не урегулировать, а её последствия и вовсе достанутся следующей администрации, кто бы ее ни возглавил.


На этом фоне отошли на второй план и Ирак, и базы в Гуантанамо, и Грузия, и будущие отношения с Москвой. В отношении России сегодня экспертов тоже интересуют лишь экономические последствия кризиса здесь и кризиса там: будут ли вкладывать российские инвесторы в Америку и будет ли по-прежнему интересно вкладывать американским инвесторам в Россию.



Demonstrators protest the U.S. Congress' proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial industry in New York's Times Square September 27, 2008 (Reuters)Who wins, who loses under proposed bailout plan?


     Monday September 29, 2:58 am ET , By Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer

Financial industry a big winner in bailout proposal, but not so troubled homeowners

WASHINGTON (AP): The proposal to bail out U.S. financial markets to the tune of up to $700 billion creates a lot of potential short-term winners, as well as some losers.


Wall Street and the banking industry are perhaps the biggest winners. Scores of banks and other financial institutions faced with going under stand to gain a lifeline that should allow them to start making loans again.


Under the plan that congressional aide sought to put into final form Sunday, the Treasury Department can start buying up troubled

mortgage-related securities now held by these institutions.


These securities are clogging balance sheets, leaving banks without the required capital to make new loans and putting the banks dangerously close to insolvency.

Banks not only have slowed lending to individuals and businesses, they have stopped making loans to each other. The rescue plan should help restore confidence to financial markets.


There are other winners, too, if the bailout works as intended: anyone soon trying to borrow money -- for cars, student loans, even to open new credit card accounts. Top executives at troubled financial institutions, on the other hand, are in the losing column because the proposal would limit their compensation and rules out "golden parachutes."


Of course, these executives may take solace in knowing their jobs still exist. Investors, including the millions of people who hold stock in their 401(k) and pension plans, should benefit. Failure to reach a deal over the weekend could have sent stock markets around the world tumbling on Monday.


Homeowners faced with foreclosure or those who have lost their homes get little help from the agreement. Nor will it help people whose houses are worth less than what they owe get refinancing or take out equity loans. It would do little to halt the slide in home values that are one of the root causes of the current economic slowdown.


"It doesn't deal with the fundamental problems that gave rise to the problem -- or alleviate the credit crisis," said Peter Morici, an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are potential winners.

In just a few months, they have remade Wall Street. If the plan helps to get the economy moving again, they may be remembered for having kept the financial crisis from spreading throughout the economy.

"When I see Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke on TV, I see fear in their eyes. Like on a battlefield when people are shooting at you. I think they are afraid to say how serious the problem is for fear of making it worse," said Bruce Bartlett, an economist who was a Treasury official under the first President Bush.

Bartlett said the plan is flawed, yet the alternative of doing nothing could be catastrophic.

After the heavy dose of new regulation in the agreement, New York will have a hard time claiming it is the center of the financial universe. That title may have shifted to Washington.

If the plan stays together, Congress -- with approval ratings even lower than those of President Bush -- may be seen as having acted decisively at a time of national emergency.

Congressional leaders added new protections to the administration's original proposal. That was only three pages long and bestowed on the treasury secretary almost unfettered powers.

Instead, the agreement would divide the $700 billion up into as many as three installments, creates an oversight board to monitor the treasury secretary's actions and set up several major protections for taxpayers, including a provision putting taxpayers first in line to recover assets if a participating company fails.

The president, on the other hand, probably would get little credit for the deal. He allowed Paulson and Bernanke to do the heavy lifting. The only time he called all the players to the White House -- late Thursday afternoon -- the wheels almost came off the process entirely.

It's hard to tell which presidential candidate benefits the most from an agreement they tentatively endorsed Sunday, a little more than five weeks before the Nov. 4 election. Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain each sought to claim some credit for the deal, even though they played active roles only over the past few days.

Hard economic times traditionally work against the party that holds the White House, and in recent polls Obama has inched ahead of McCain. Furthermore, there is widespread consumer resentment over being asked to bail out Wall Street and lawmakers have learned the proposal has not been popular with their constituents.

That may help Democrats in general. The strongest opposition to the original bailout plan came from House Republicans.

Lawmakers and presidential candidates alike are "trying to orchestrate everybody jumping off the cliff together," said Robert Shapiro, a consultant who was an economic adviser to President Clinton. "I think we'd have a different plan if we weren't five weeks out from the election."

And ordinary taxpayers?

Nothing that potentially adds $700 billion to the national debt -- already surging toward the $10 trillion mark -- can be considered a winner for those who foot the bills.

But lawmakers did put in taxpayer protections, including one to require that taxpayers be repaid in full for loans that go bad.

The package could even end up making money for taxpayers, supporters claimed.

But only if the loans and interest on them are repaid in full. Few expect that provision to be a winning proposition, however.





        LUCH 2008