Wamu bankers sang ‘I like big bucks and I cannot lie’ before bank failed
“I like big bucks and I cannot lie,” they sang. “You mortgage brothers can’t deny.Ã¢â‚¬Â
We’re not making it up. According to documents released as part of a Congressional investigation, bankers from the failed Washington Mutual rewrote the lyrics to 1992’s “Baby Got Back” to celebrate their dominance of the mortgage lending market.
An apparent exhibit of misplaced hubris, Washington Mutual would later become the largest failed savings bank in US history, in part due to their exuberance in extending risky loans.
The bankers also staged a mock funeral for another big subprime mortgage lender — Countrywide Financial — which would also need a huge infusion of cash and was picked up by banking behemoth Bank of America in the wake of the 2008 crash.
Bankers sang about “big bucks” at their 2006 Kauai, Hawaii retreat. As if the lyrics themselves weren’t enough, the bankers’ chorus was apparently accompanied by cheerleaders who moved in time to the music, and wads and wads of flying fake cash.
Politico notes more of the Wamu anthem’s words, as detailed in the documents:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“That when the dough rolls in like you’re printinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ your own cash/
And you gotta make a splash/
You just spends/
Like it never ends/
Cuz you gotta have that big new Benz/
All of that bling you’re wearin’/
Shining so bright peoples starin’/
It’s crazy, I gotta ski Aspen/
That’s all I’m askin’Ã¢â‚¬Â
It didn’t turn out that way.
On Sept. 26, 2008, the Wall Street Journal crowed, “In what is by far the largest bank failure in U.S. history, federal regulators seized Washington Mutual Inc. and struck a deal to sell the bulk of its operations to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.”
Still, Washington Mutual’s former chief executive (above right) made off with a bundle: Kerry Killinger took in a whopping $100 million between 2003 and 2008.