How big is WaMu?

The largest bank failure in U.S. history was Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company.  When it failed in May 1984, it had $41 billion in assets and $30 billion in total deposits.

According to the FDIC press release, when IndyMac failed in July it had $32 billion in assets and $19 billion in deposits, making it the second-largest failure in history.

Washington Mutual has $310 billion in assets and $182 billion in deposits.  (Their market cap is now below $4 billion.)  So think of WaMu as 10 IndyMacs.

The FDIC estimates the IndyMac failure will cost their insurance fund $9 billion.  The total size of the fund is now $45 billion, its lowest since 1995.  When the fund runs out…  Well, I am not sure what happens, exactly.  Presumably FDIC taps the Treasury, meaning the taxpayer, meaning you.  (Actually, Treasury borrows the money from China and Russia and the petro-states.  It all depends on how you look at it.)  Anyway, I am not sure what the mechanism for replenishing the fund would be…  I’ll get back to you.


I got a link from The Man!

And saw something that reminded me of a joke.

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