Ask Money

Stockholders and a failed bank

Chris Farrell Sep 29, 2008

Question: I know WaMu depositors are insured, but what can WaMu stock holders do now? I’m relatively new to investing, and this is the first time I’ve seen my stock drop to $0.16! Andy, Ankeny, IA

Answer: The FDIC engineered takeover of Washington Mutual by JPMorgan Chase protects depositors, not shareholders. Shareholders are essentially wiped out. At this point, the real value of your WaMu stock could come on your tax bill, using the loss to shelter capital gains or ordinary income from Uncle Sam.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.