Peter S. Goodman and Gretchen Morgenson have what might be the single most entertaining account of bank mismanagement of the year.
They recount the story of WaMu, and start by quoting former CEO Kerry K. Killinger”
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.
Well, he’s right, it’s 5 years later, and nobody is calling Washington Mutual a bank anymore.
But it gets even better when they interview a former supervisor at a WaMu mortgage processing center, John D. Parsons, who is now in prison on drug charges:
Yet even by WaMu’s relaxed standards, one mortgage four years ago raised eyebrows. The borrower was claiming a six-figure income and an unusual profession: mariachi singer.
Mr. Parsons could not verify the singer’s income, so he had him photographed in front of his home dressed in his mariachi outfit. The photo went into a WaMu file. Approved.
Yog-Sothoth’s Yam Yogurt, this is eerily reminiscent of the Tulip Mania of 1637.
H/T Wallstreetjackass for noticing this bit of absurdity.