… to have some perspective.
The failure of Washington Mutual put at risk
$1.9 $188bn in assets deposits, or $1,900,000,000 $188,000,000,000.
US GDP today is about $13,800bn, or $13,800,000,000,000.
assets deposits put at risk represent therefore around .01% 1.4% of GDP. Which is a big deal, and we’re glad for the FDIC and JP Morgan Chase.
Consider, though, the failure in 1930 of Bank of United States. (Note: the absence of definite articles is critical, this was a private bank, not an official entity.) It’s supposed to have put at risk maybe $160m, or $160,000,000.
Which makes it sound smaller than the failure of WaMu, widely described today as the largest bank failure in US history.
But US GDP in 1930 was around $91.2bn, or $91,200,000,000.
So the 1930 failure put at risk perhaps .18% of GDP.
UPDATED TO SAY: And therefore I was wrong, the WaMu failure is bigger, in terms of deposits put at risk. I’m sorry.
UPDATED again to say, see here.