As I type this post on a windy Columbus Day holiday in Ventura County, the stock market is up over 11%, thanks in part to an announcement that the U.S. Treasury may buy some bank stocks! Talk about a volatile market! Stocks were down 18% last week, 24% over the last 2 weeks and 40% over the last year!
What prompted me to write this was that my wife mentioned we have a savings account at Washington Mutual. There have been so many banking changes that I couldn't even remember who now owns WaMu (it is now JP Morgan Chase)! So here's a high level compilation of some of the major events of the year...so far!
10/13/08 (today): The Federal Reserve approved Wells Fargo's purchase of Wachovia. This deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Wachovia is (soon to be was) the 4th largest bank in America. Originally Citigroup tried to buy Wachovia but Wells Fargo offered more $$.
10/3/08: FDIC deposit insurance limits are temporarily raised from $100K to $250K per account until 12/31/09. Now if they could just tell me where I can get this much money fso I can utilize these limits.
9/25/08: Washington Mutual is shut down by the Office of Thrift Supervision and FDIC (the largest bank failure in U.S. history), only to be immediately sold to JP Morgan Chase that same day. JP Morgan Chase now claims to be the largest U.S. bank.
9/16/08: Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch for $50 billion (way to go, B of A!). The deal will close sometime in Q1 2009.
9/15/08: Lehman Brothers files Chapter 11. Sorry guys, no bailout for you! But the next day, Barclay's Bank bought Lehman's businesses and assets. So Lehman is still around.
9/7/08: The Government takes over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Maybe they should upgrade their names to something like Angelina and Brad or other more popular names.
9/6/08: The Government steps in and saves AIG from its liquidity issues by taking the equivalent of an 80% stake in the company.
7/11/08: IndyMac, with local branches in Thousand Oaks, Camarillo and Ventura, is the 2nd largest bank failure in history (now the 3rd largest, thanks to WaMu). But that's o.k., they are now owned and operated by the Feds and all's fine. Anyone wanna buy a bank? How about McDonald's? Rename it BigMac bank and pay interest in french fries??
7/1/08: Countrywide officially becomes owned by Bank of America. So now the big question is...when are they gonna change it to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza's "Bank of America Performing Arts Plaza"??
5/31/08: JP Morgan Chase bought Bear Stearns. They opted against calling the new entity JP Morgan Chases Bears.
Well let's all hope that we are headed in the right direction!