This from today's comprehensive, devastating New York TImesaccount of how Washington Mutual destroyed itself, and contributed mightily to the subprime mortgage crisis, through reckless lending:
"We hope to do to this industry what Wal-Mart did to theirs, Starbucks did to theirs, Costco did to theirs and Lowe's-Home Depot did to their industry. And I think if we've done our job, five years from now you're not going to call us a bank."
That was former WaMu head Kerry Killinger, speaking in 2003. And you know what? He was right? Five years later, and WaMu isn't a bank, but a hulk sold from federal seizure to JP Morgan Chase. Killinger, doubtlessly huddling with lawyers right now, will surely be facing multiple lawsuits for his stewardship. The Times reports that he earned $88 million between 2001 and 2007. (He didn't respond to the Times' interview requests, however.) If there's any justice, former WaMu shareholders will get whatever portion of his riches that the bankruptcy attorneys don't grab first.
Nice going, Kerry. And the next time you meet any former WaMu borrowers, make sure to ask if they want fries with their order.