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Government Shuts Down WaMu, JPMorgan Chase Takes Over Assets

Posted on 26 Sep 2008

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The U.S. government closed down Washington Mutual, the largest failure of a U.S. bank, and its banking assets were sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co for $1.9 billion.  
The rescue marks a historic step to clean up a U.S. financial system littered with toxic mortgage debt.  
Washington Mutual, the largest U.S. savings and loan, was closed by the federal Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp was named receiver. Customers should expect business as usual on Friday, the FDIC said.  
Seattle-based Washington Mutual has about $307 billion of assets and $188 billion of deposits, regulators said. The nation's largest previous banking failure was Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust, which had $40 billion of assets when it collapsed in 1984.  
The transaction gives JPMorgan roughly 5,400 branches, and fulfills JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon's long-held goal of becoming a retail bank force in the western United States.