Angry? Why Should the Average Worker be Angry?
Washington Mutual Inc. expects a $1 billion first quarter loss and said Tuesday that it will slice 3,000 jobs nationwide while also closing more home-loan centers.From the Houston Business Journal
[. . .]
WaMu also said it was closing its 186 remaining freestanding home loan offices and exiting wholesale lending by the end of June.
[. . .]
WaMu said it had raised $7 billion from the sale of stock to an investment group led by Fort Worth private equity firm TPG Capital. David Bonderman, co-founder of TPG, formerly Texas Pacific Group, will take a seat on the WaMu board along with Larry Kellner, chief executive of Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc.
[. . .]
WaMu CEO Kerry Killinger said the $7 billion injection "will position us for a return to profitability as these elevated credit costs subside. With the support of these investors, we have every confidence in our ability to deal with today's market conditions and restore shareholder value."
According to Forbes.com, Mr. Killinger was the 83rd highest-paid executive in the United States in 2005, earning $48,679,000 over the five-year period, and more than $15 million in 2005. He also owns over $60 million in stock.
I'm sure Killinger is really feeling the pain of the economic downturn. I'm sure he can't sleep for the thought of all those jobs and homes lost. Nightly he paces the floor as his erstwhile employees get on with the business of finding new jobs--hopefully some that have health plans.
On his salary alone, Washington Mutual could save enough to keep 500 employees earning $30,000 per year employed. But presumably executives are seen as giving better "shareholder value"?
Meanwhile, I'm sure some of those workers will be trying to find work to make their predatory mortgage payments as the screw turns and foreclosures rise to levels not seen since 1931 or so.
In January I read a prediction that the economy was going to tank, led by a house-price "deflation". It was predicted that US unemployment would hit 7.5 percent.
Tighten your belts, save your pennies, and don't vote for anyone who'd bail out investment bankers before mortgage-holders. And hold onto your hats, it's gonna get rough.
Unless, of course, you're a CEO.