The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual-The Biggest Bank Failure in American History

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9781451617931: The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual-The Biggest Bank Failure in American History

An award-winning reporter chronicles the calamitous story of Washington Mutual, the single-largest bank failure in American history, in a fast-paced, compelling, and gripping saga of greed and excess.

During the most dizzying days of the financial crisis, Washington Mutual, a bank with hundreds of billions of dollars in its coffers, suffered a crip­pling bank run. The story of its final, brutal collapse in the autumn of 2008, and its controversial sale to JPMorgan Chase, is an astonishing account of how one bank lost itself to greed and mismanagement, and how the entire financial industry—even the entire country—lost its way as well.

Written as compellingly as the finest fiction, The Lost Bank introduces readers to the regulators and the bankers, the home buyers and the lenders who together created the largest bank failure in American history. The result is a magisterial and gripping account of the incredible rise and the precipitous collapse of not only an institution but of trust, fortunes, and the marketplaces for risk across the world.

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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2012: The collapse of Washington Mutual in September 2008 was the largest bank failure in U.S. history and a symbolic casualty of America’s unfolding financial crisis. Wall Street Journal reporter Kristen Grind provides a fascinating fly-on-the-boardroom-wall account of the bank’s final hours, and takes us back through the history of what started as a quirky, familial savings and loan and became a byword for America’s financial malfunction. This is no tedious, dry retelling of a story we’ve heard hundreds of times in the last four years—Grind masterfully explains even the most complex financial concepts and has a natural talent for ferreting out tiny but humanizing details. Grind has already received numerous awards for her coverage of WaMu’s mighty fall, and The Lost Bank stands beside The Big Short and Too Big to Fail as required reading for students of the Great Recession. --Juliet Disparte

About the Author:

Kirsten Grind has received more than a dozen national awards for her work, including a Pulitzer Prize finalist citation. A reporter for The Wall Street Journal, she lives in New York City.

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