You, on the other hand, are immediately available for comment. Why don’t you play WaMu for a while?

by John Holbo on September 26, 2008

But the seizure and the deal with JPMorgan came as a shock to Washington Mutual’s board, which was kept completely in the dark: the company’s new chief executive, Alan H. Fishman, was in midair, flying from New York to Seattle at the time the deal was finally brokered, according to people briefed on the situation. Mr. Fishman, who has been on the job for less than three weeks, is eligible for $11.6 million in cash severance and will get to keep his $7.5 million signing bonus, according to an analysis by James F. Reda and Associates. WaMu was not immediately available for comment.

Link. Just imagine that WaMu was caught in a moment of uncharacteristic forthcomingness. Was inclined to wax metaphysical about the great comedy that is both Life and the Universe.



A. Y. Mous 09.26.08 at 2:13 pm

Just as Gary Bechner’s been saying that Cheney is an Iranian mole, I keeping harping on that this whole set of “financial crises” is J P Morgan’s hostile take over attempt.


The Modesto Kid 09.26.08 at 2:22 pm

It’s worse than that. As Paul Krugman points out, you have Republicans in power who are standing in the way of reform by claiming (bizarrely) we need to lower taxes to end this crisis.


The Modesto Kid 09.26.08 at 2:23 pm

Oops wrong thread — I had Quiggin’s post below this in my sights. Sorry!


abb1 09.26.08 at 2:57 pm

$19.1 million in 3 weeks sounds like a lot, but hey, that’s the price you pay for talent. Imagine how much harm some $3 million/week mediocre jerk could’ve done.

Besides, the guy did lose his job, after all. If you knew what one has to pay for jet fuel these days…


almostinfamous 09.26.08 at 3:10 pm

hey abb1, ever heard of ‘business expense’?

you’re the one that pays for it after all…


abb1 09.26.08 at 3:26 pm

‘business expense’

We will spare nothing to attract and acquire the best talent available. That is not ‘business expense’, that’s what we call ‘our human capital’.


almostinfamous 09.26.08 at 3:26 pm

btw, now corporates everywhere have good reason to rejoice. they can soon expect to replace corporate jets with corporate jetpacks!


Joel Turnipseed 09.26.08 at 3:50 pm

First, I absolutely demand a Wall Street photo op with dwarfs (or is it midgets?). Midgets.

Second, w/r/t Alan Fishman’s compensation: Hey, can you imagine how scary it must have been to even take that job? I know–I went to war for $20K/year and a couple hundred bucks a month for college–that doesn’t seem like much to face for such a big payday, but seriously: that was never going to be anything other than a very painful executive gig. Besides, the efficiency with which the WaMu collapse was handled is almost a beautiful as the image of Paulson genuflecting to Pelosi.

Finally, per JQ’s post below, maybe we’ll finally be tired (as a nation) of the BSD as Hero & get down to making serious attempts to create a just & working international order. Oh, wait… No: I think we’ll have to settle for midgets. But on whose lap?


Frank 09.26.08 at 3:56 pm

We need to make sure Fishman and his ilk get their bonuses; otherwise, scenes like this, might ensue:


Joel Turnipseed 09.26.08 at 4:15 pm

Careful, Frank… you just came dangerously close to unleashing 50,000 words worth of posts on Crooked Timber. 48,000 of them from me.

Must. resist… save for the book.


JP Stormcrow 09.26.08 at 4:49 pm

Kirk Douglas (still alive!) will play the real WaMu in the movie. Climatic scene takes place on Wall St. when a thousand unruly traders claim “I am Wamu!” They are each paid a $19.1M bonus to disperse.


CJColucci 09.26.08 at 5:00 pm

I owe WaMu about $8,000 in remaining principal on my co-op mortgage. Maybe I’ll slip through the cracks.


someguy 09.26.08 at 5:16 pm

Perhaps the preverse incentives regarding executive pay in the bail out plan are beneficial?

Instead of encouraging executives to hold onto the bad debt and ignore the government bailout offers it will encourage them to sell now and get paid.

Are there enough buyers?

And has anyone thought about this or is everyone focused on the fairness?


Walt 09.26.08 at 5:28 pm

Just how complete is your identification with the rich, someguy? Has it actually reached 100%, or is it still around 98%?


ehj2 09.26.08 at 5:29 pm

Play WaMu?

I always liked Manuel Hinds’ phrase (and the title of one of his books), “Playing Monopoly with the Devil.”


Steve LaBonne 09.26.08 at 5:30 pm

This is my bailout plan (hat tip to Atrios):


someguy 09.26.08 at 5:46 pm


Thinking about the potential adverse consequences of punishing some rich guys doesn’t mean I identify with the rich.


Nick 09.27.08 at 12:12 am

Mr. Fishman, who has been on the job for less than three weeks, is eligible for $11.6 million in cash
Maybe this is only funny to the British, but I can only applaud Mr Fishman’s extraordinary stamina & prowess, while envying him for being lucky enough to get paid for it . . .


eric 09.27.08 at 12:22 am

I’m not British, Nick. But I’m laughing uproariously. “On the job” is indeed an apt description of what most financial executives have been doing for years.

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