The customers and employees of Washington Mutual, the first savings and loans bank to be closed down by the American government, are today waiting to see what happens to their money and jobs.
More than 11 billion euros of deposits had been withdrawn from Washington Mutual in the past 10 days and prospective buyers were circling.
But yesterday the government deemed the bank unsafe and moved to protect deposits, selling it to JP Morgan Chase who had made a bid earlier this year. Job losses are feared.
The Washington Mutual was one of the lenders hardest hit by the American mortgage crisis. It was sold to JP Morgan for $1.2 bn in the latest step by the US government to try to clean up so-called “toxic debt”. JP Morgan bought Bear Steans four months ago, also for a knock-down price.