COMMENTS: WaMu Joins JP

On a normal day the collapse of a savings & loan with 2,200 branches and $307bn in assets would be the financial Story of the Day. Washington Mutual, the nation's largest thrift, was rescued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and sold, along with $31bn in debts, to JP Morgan, the bank, for $1.9bn. CBS' Anthony Mason (no link) covered the bankruptcy from New York and NBC's George Lewis from Los Angeles. ABC had Neal Karlinsky (embargoed link) in WaMu's hometown of Seattle where the thrift had the reputation as "the Walmart of banking, catering to lower and middle class customers and pressing heavily into the mortgage business."

The ripple effect of high finance's problems into the personal finances of retirees and those saving for retirement has inspired anecdotal features on all three newscasts. Wednesday, ABC's Sharyn Alfonsi (embargoed link) profiled babyboomers in New Jersey. Thursday, NBC's Mark Potter introduced us to retirees in Florida. Now, CBS' Mark Strassmann is in Atlanta where a former firefighter found that "Wall Street scrambled his nest egg."


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