Sunday, December 28, 2008

Life imitates art - the WaMu story

Well, not exactly. Cliches are much more common in life than in art ...
The Reckoning - WaMu Built an Empire on Bad Loans - Series -

...While Mr. Parsons, whose incarceration is not related to his work for WaMu, oversaw a team screening mortgage applications, he was snorting methamphetamine daily, he said.

“In our world, it was tolerated,” said Sherri Zaback, who worked for Mr. Parsons and recalls seeing drug paraphernalia on his desk. “Everybody said, ‘He gets the job done.’ ”

At WaMu, getting the job done meant lending money to nearly anyone who asked for it — the force behind the bank’s meteoric rise and its precipitous collapse this year in the biggest bank failure in American history...
We really need to try a different sentient species. Personally I like dogs.

This was novel though ...
...WaMu turned real estate agents into a pipeline for loan applications by enabling them to collect “referral fees” for clients who became WaMu borrowers...
Dark humor aside, there's one interesting question about all this.

Why are we reading about this now?

It's not as though WaMu was subtle.

I would really like to know the story about why there was no story.

Update: Thinking more about why there was no story. A hypothesis -- that business journalists interact with the wrong level of a corporation. They interact with senior management, who are more fun and who can provide favors, tips, and ad revenue. The real story is further down the value chain, hence invisible.

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