Friday, September 26, 2008

WaMu Bondholders are `Stranded' in Thrift Seizure, Hendler Says

From Bloomberg:
Washington Mutual Inc. bondholders are likely to lose most of their money after the thrift was seized in the largest U.S. bank failure in history, according to CreditSights Inc.

WaMu was taken over after customers withdrew $16.7 billion from accounts since Sept. 16, leaving the Seattle-based bank ``unsound,'' the Office of Thrift Supervision said yesterday. New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. then bought WaMu's branch network for $1.9 billion to become the biggest U.S. bank by deposits. JPMorgan won't acquire WaMu's liabilities, including claims by senior and subordinated debt holders, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

``It seems that WaMu's major debt holders have been stranded by regulatory intervention,'' David Hendler, an analyst at bond research firm CreditSights in New York wrote in a report today. ``The deal structure seems to be unprecedented in that it excludes bondholders at the holdco and bank levels from the major assets and liabilities of the operating bank.''>>>MORE