(Above: Dining on the bones of a broken economy
EVEN THE SMART ONES GET IT WRONG SOMETIMES:
There's a local angle to yesterday's failure of Seattle-based Washington Mutual, which became the largest bank failure ever
. Many Oregonians will remember the Texas Pacific Group
, the wildly successful leveraged buyout firm that came to Oregon in 2003 and hired former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt
to help the firm buy Portland General Electric. The Public Utility Commission wisely rejected that deal. Yesterday, TPG realized a massive loss, reported by The Wall Street Journal
to be $1.35 billion (with a b) on an investment made earlier this year in Washington Mutual. There's a good chance that Oregon retirees suffered a loss on the deal as well, because the Oregon Investment Council
, which invests public employee pension money, has been among TPG's largest investors. As for WaMu, the Seattle thrift is now part of J.P. Morgan, the large New York bank.
"The market meltdown merely provided the convenient excuse to close down a stinker of a company," so says Valleywag.com
regarding Uber.com. Uber-Who, you ask? According to this post
Ever heard of Uber.com? Join the club. But the Los Angeles-based social networking startup now says it's a victim of "the crisis in the economy." Investors like Discovery Communications and Universal Music Group, which sunk up to $7.6 million in the social network-turned-publishing platform, want what's left of their money back. Discovery's investment came just last May, with the company looking to use the site for its Miami Ink and LA Ink shows on TLC. But was it really the economic meltdown, or just investors coming to their senses?
It's not too hard to figure out the answer. [Hat tip to Gawker.com
: Comic Wanda Sykes tells it like it is on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: