Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fannie at $1.10 too rich for ya?: "Why WaMu Stock Has Soared: It's a 'Cheap Lottery Ticket'" (WAMUQ)

Seeing that stock symbol brought back some memories. During September 2008 I slept in the office more nights than I slept at home.

Fannie and Freddie were nationalized during the first week of the month.
Lehman filed for bankruptcy on the 15th.
On the 16th the government seized control of AIG with their $85Bil. investment.
On the 25th the OTS seized Washington Mutual.

To quote Evelyn William "Bill" McNeal, "Good times, good times".
Here's one of our posts from that month (Sep. 30), "If You Can't be Lucky, Be Right. And: Climateer's Quote of the Day":

Kids, don't try this at home. Yesterday, in "Get Ready For a Relief Rally. And: How Bad Can it Get" we said:

...A sixty percent retracement of today's (and tomorrow's?) decline is well within the bounds of possibility (I won't go all Fibonacci on you)....
60% of 777.68 is 466.62 points. We closed up 485.21, an overshoot of 18 points. I'll lay it all off to luck. Here's our "Quote of the Day":
Last Trade:0.082
Trade Time:4:00PM ET
Change:Up 0.048 (141.18%)
Prev Close:0.034
WAMUQ.PK is what remains of the largest Savings & Loan in the country.
Good times, good times.

From CNBC:
Washington Mutual, known mostly as the biggest bank failure in US history, also has been a darling of stock market gamblers.

Though taking a beating in Wednesday trading, WaMu [WAMUQ 0.4479 -0.0371 (-7.65%) ] shares have soared over the past month and year despite existing as a zombie corporation—no assets or business to speak of—since being swallowed by JPMorgan Chase in 2008.

WaMu shares have risen 181 percent in the past month and 1,760 percent in the past year—good news if you've been speculating on the stock during that time but bad if you bought in when it was trading at $2.26 when it first entered bankruptcy and even worse if you came in at historical highs of $46 a share in 2003.

It's been some feat, though, for a former banking titan and now bankrupt company that came to represent the worst of bank risk-taking during the collapse of the nation's financial system.

Traders optimistic over a series of court battles to recover value for common shareholders have been at the center of the stock's improbable rise.

"It's a cheap lottery ticket if there somehow miraculously is a payoff to the common shareholders," said Kevin Starke, an analyst at CRT Capital Group in Stamford, Conn. who has been following the WaMU situation closely. "That is one element you see in bankruptcy situations generally."

Starke thinks investors who believe that common shareholders will recoup value are probably kidding themselves. Holders of corporate bonds and preferred shares will be first in line should JPMorgan return money to investors, with common shareholders a distant third....MORE