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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 28, 2008 at 2:20 PM

WaMu buyout

A fond farewell

to a childhood friend

When I was growing up in West Seattle during the late 1940s, and in grades third through fifth, the schools had a School Savings Program sponsored by Washington Mutual [“End of WaMu,” Times, page one, Sept. 26].

Every Tuesday, my classmates and I would bring our 5 or 10 cents to put into our very own savings account. We had real bank passbooks, and the teacher would dutifully record our deposit and the growing balance. Not everyone participated, and maybe not every week, but it taught at an early age the value of saving for something later.

At that time, and until the 1980s, Washington Mutual and other savings banks were strictly that — a savings and loan bank. They did not become full-service with checking and other things until much later, with deregulation.

In 1970, I finally went to close out my childhood account — which I had not used since 1952! I think the balance was about $25 with interest. I felt I was losing part of my childhood then, and again as the name Washington Mutual disappears.

So I say a fond goodbye to Washington Mutual and the many other local banks that we have also lost over the years: Seattle-First National Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Rainier National Bank and all those small-town, independent banks of the past.

— LaVonne Hyer Lynch, Hayden, Idaho

JPMorgan lucked out

It’s a sad state of affairs when a local bank that grew to be a major icon in the financial industry goes from a power house to “Whoo Who?”

Thanks, [former CEO Kerry] Killinger. JPMorgan Chase appreciates your turning down their $8 per share offer last spring.

— Richard Luke, Kirkland

Comments | More in Economy, Politics | Topics: Kerry Killinger, Washington Mutual

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