The Downfall of Washington Mutual

The Downfall of Washington Mutual
Case Code: BSTR328
Case Length: 17 Pages
Period: 2006-2008
Pub Date: 2009
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization: Washington Mutual Inc.
Industry: Banking & Financial Services
Countries: USA
Themes: Failure of Strategy, Bankruptcy
The Downfall of Washington Mutual
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


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.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives

  • Understand the importance of proper control systems in a company
  • Understand the role of the top management in setting the direction for a company



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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