The Downfall of Washington Mutual

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR328 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Failure of Strategy / Bankruptcy
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 2006-08
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Washington Mutual Inc. (WaMu)
Industry : Banking & Financial Services
Countries : USA


The case describes the growth of Washington Mutual Inc. (WaMu), one of the largest financial institutions in the US, and its eventual collapse, which led to the sale of its banking operations to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase).

It provides a brief overview of the history of WaMu, and then discusses its rapid expansion through various acquisitions, beginning in the 1990s. Later, the case covers the impact of the economic crisis in the US on WaMu, and discusses the events leading up to its collapse.


Understand the importance of proper control systems in a company.

Understand the role of the top management in setting the direction for a company.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Decline and Fall 4
Reasons for the Fall 6
After The Fall 9
Exhibits 11


WaMu, JPMorgan Chase, Bank failures, Sub prime crisis, Economic crisis, Sub prime mortgages, Mortgage-backed securities (MBS), Jamie Dimon, Control systems, Risk management, Kerry Killinger

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