So that speculation play you made by buying up tons of WaMu stock in the past couple of weeks?  You might want to sit down for this:

Washington Mutual was closed by the U.S. government in by far the largest failure of a U.S. bank, and its banking assets were sold to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion.

The rescue marks a historic step to clean up a U.S. financial system littered with toxic mortgage debt.

Washington Mutual, the largest U.S. savings and loan, was closed by the federal Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp was named receiver. Customers should expect business as usual on Friday, the FDIC said.

Yes. Business as usual, except for the riots at WaMu branches tomorrow morning.

Of course: the FDIC is going to be on this mother, and everybody’s deposits will be safeish. But you remember what happened at Indymac branches? Amateur hour.

[Addendum: from the FDIC press release: “For all depositors and other customers of Washington Mutual Bank, this is simply a combination of two banks,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair. “For bank customers, it will be a seamless transition. There will be no interruption in services and bank customers should expect business as usual come Friday morning.” No word on whether Ms. Bair said this while in a fetal crouch.]