The Bush/McCain deregulated Wall Street economy just keeps rolling along as Washington Mutual self-destructs because of its role in the mortgage meltdown.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized WaMu on Thursday, and then sold the thrift’s banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion.

Seattle-based WaMu, which was founded in 1889, is the largest bank to fail by far in the country’s history. Its $307 billion in assets eclipse the $40 billion of Continental Illinois National Bank, which failed in 1984, and the $32 billion of IndyMac, which the government seized in July.

One positive is that the sale of WaMu’s assets to JPMorgan Chase prevents the thrift’s collapse from depleting the FDIC’s insurance fund. But that detail is likely to give only marginal solace to Americans facing tighter lending and watching their stock portfolios plunge in the wake of the nation’s most momentous financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Some other headlines — how many like these do the voters need to see to believe the presidential choice is clear?

* HSBC cutting 1,100 global banking and markets jobs

* Central banks dole out cash as bailout doubts grow

* Oil Prices Explode

* Money market conditions deteriorate further

And it was only days ago that McCain was bleating that the fundamentals of the economy are strong; now he tells us “iceberg dead ahead.” And his alternative proposal that he brought to the table yesterday? More tax cuts and deregulation!

Sadly, we know there is a core slice of Americans who would rather burn down the house with another third Bush/McSame term of economic policies that got us into this mess than vote for Obama.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding