Kirsten Grind has signed on with New York publishers Simon & Schuster to write the dramatic story of the collapse of Washington Mutual, the largest bank failure in U.S. history. On Sept. 25, 2008 regulators seized the 119-year old company, selling it quickly to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion. In the following days, months and years, Grind slowly uncovered the many reasons for the bank's historic collapse, and also pieced together its tumultuous final months, in which executives tried desperately to save the institution. Her subsequent stories covering WaMu's collapse, and the secretive decisions made by the federal government about its closure, became a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for explanatory reporting.
The book, tentatively titled "The Rise and Fall of WaMu" will span the last 20 years of the bank's history, detailing how Washington Mutual, once the banking darling of the United States, and known as "the Friend of the Family," came crashing down in the fall of 2008. "The Rise and Fall of WaMu" will chronicle the human drama that played out over those last two decades and the executives whose decisions personally and professionally ultimately altered the course of history. It will also take an unprecedented look at the battle in Washington, D.C. over the bank's future, and the role of its acquirer, JPMorgan Chase.