Here’s a piece from Bloomberg News yesterday on WaMu’s troubles: Rule hobbling suitors batters WaMu stock
Shares of Washington Mutual fell 29.7 percent to a nearly 18-year low Wednesday on concern a new accounting rule could hinder attempts to find a buyer.
WaMu stock dove 98 cents to $2.32, the lowest close since November 1990. The stock of the Seattle company, the nation’s biggest savings and loan, has tumbled nearly 46 percent since the board Monday announced the ouster of CEO Kerry Killinger, and the shares are down 93 percent in the past year.
Potential acquirers ended talks to buy WaMu this year in part because the accounting rule would force buyers to compute a target’s assets at market prices instead of deriving values from measures including the purchase price, two bankers involved with the talks said.
Newly installed WaMu Chief Executive Alan Fishman, who sold the last bank he ran, said Monday a sale wasn’t in the bank’s future. “You don’t build a company to sell it,” he said.
Fishman was CEO of Brooklyn’s Independence Community Bank, which was sold to Philadelphia-based Sovereign Bancorp in 2006.
Others aren’t so sure.
“The market will likely view the removal of WaMu’s former CEO as the last remaining hurdle for the board to consider pursuing a possible sale,” Merrill Lynch analyst Kenneth Bruce wrote Monday to investors. Complicating a potential sale: “the poor quality of WaMu’s loan portfolio.”
Anybody out there still have money at WaMu? What’s the consensus among Seattle Bubble readers on the bank’s chances of lasting beyond this month?
There’s been quite a bit of talk about WaMu in the last week, so consider this your open thread to air your thoughts, worries, and hopes for WaMu.
(Bloomberg News, 09.11.2008)