JPMorgan Chief Had Long Drooled Over WaMu
Firm writes down $31 billion in bad debt, but builds nation's largest bank
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2008 2:45 PM CDT
"This was an eroding situation," the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said of the decision to seize Washington Mutual last night rather than wait and face a run on the bank.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The failure of Washington Mutual was an opportunity for JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who long held a desire to buy the bank, the Seattle Times reports, and saw its large West Coast presence as particularly attractive. Now Dimon, who incorporated Bear Stearns earlier this year, has used the credit crisis to build the largest bank in the US.

The move is not without risk, the Washington Post adds: JPMorgan will have to absorb WaMu’s sagging portfolio of mortgage-related securities, and announced immediate writedowns of $31 billion due to those devalued investments. “This was an eroding situation,” the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said of the decision to move on WaMu and forestall a run.