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My biggest winner on paper was Washington Mutual. It was a 35 bagger over my initial purchase price circa 1982.

Unfortunately, in 2008 it was a spectacular failure, and wound up being my all time biggest LOSER by the time I sold it!

Still, I didn't refuse to sell it because of taxes.

CEO Killinger led Washington Mutual to spectacular success during the S&L bailout of the late 1980s, and I was expecting him to do that again when the weak banks failed again.

Unfortunately, despite his experience with failing banks during the S&L bailouts, Killinger let Washington Mutual fail due to bad loan underwriting.

I still haven't heard a good explanation for why someone who did a terrific job managing the bank for decades, and who profited from the failures of so many other banks let his own bank fail like that in the end.

Seattle Pioneer
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