9 Grand Loan At Less than Prime from WaMu = Credit Crisis?

roll-of-dollars.thumbnail.jpgSo Monday morning my PC laptop crapped out right as I’m about to delve into the Oxdown Gazette for some mmm-good read’n and maybe some write’n. Being as naturally superstitious as John McCain trying to roll a 4, I asked the Universe if this was a sign — "Does this mean I shouldn’t be posting at Oxdown?" but She didn’t answer, which I took to mean I’m cool here. (I regard the Universe as Female, that’s how I roll).

So I asked the Universe: "Does this mean I should think about getting a Mac, even though I won’t be able to go back to work until next year?"

Her answer appeared to arrive in the mail in short order — a credit card offer from my recently failed bank, Washington Mutual.

Normally, I throw these credit card offers into the recycle bin un-opened. &As every school kid knows, the credit market is so tight in America right now millions of people are on the verge of losing their jobs because businesses can’t get any money from the "seized up" financial sector.

America faces a "once in a lifetime" major crisis of enormous dimensions, or so I’ve been led to believe.

For laughs and giggles I checked out what The Bank Formerly Known As Wamu had to offer: more than 9 grand at 1.99% APR until next August, with an upfront finance charge of $150 (about 1.6%).

WTF? I don’t own a home or have a regular jay oh bee and they’re gonna give me in excess of 9 large at less than prime?

I trotted right down to the local Wamu JP Morgan-Chase branch and spoke to the young woman there about the deal.

"It’s an active offer," she assured me.

"Wow, I’m a little surprised because of everything I’m hearing. Hell, I could put the 9 grand in an ING account and keep it there and almost break even."

"You could put it in our on-line savings account and collect almost 4%."

"You mean this bank would give me 9 grand for about 10 months, charge me around $300, but then pay me around $300 if I lent it back to them?"

She nodded, doing the same math in her head that I was. "Sounds about right," she cheered.

Now, I know that anecdotes like this don’t mean anything, and I’m sure there are lots of people out there truly sweating this thing out, but if they’re going to give a middle-aged slacker like yours truly 9 grand at discount prices, I have to wonder if this "crisis" is all that’s it’s cracked up to be.

Not that it matters to me — turns out all I needed was a new keyboard.

The Universe works in mysterious ways…the Bitch.

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