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Dueling Fools: Washington Mutual

By Rick Munarriz – Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 5:28PM

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You decide whether it's WaMu or just a wash.

I get a kick out of those Washington Mutual (NASDAQ:WM) ads. You've seen them. The ones that have a bunch of fat-cat bankers steaming over WaMu's free checking accounts.

Well, if you want free checking, you've come to the right place. Today we'll be checking WaMu out for free!

Obviously, we're in a tricky environment for financial institutions. The subprime meltdown has affected pure lenders from Countrywide Financial (NYSE:CFC) to Accredited Home Lenders (NASDAQ:LEND). Dismal quarterly reports out of homebuilders such as KB Home (NYSE:KBH) and Lennar (NYSE:LEN) last week indicate weak demand for new housing mortgages. And even with the collapse of NetBank, consumers are still flocking to attractively yielding savings options online, through companies such as E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC).

So what's the deal on Washington Mutual? Not all Fools agree. Chuck Saletta is our bull this week. Billy Fisher is our bear. The two can't seem to see eye-to-eye on the company's prospects.

Where do you stand when it comes to WaMu? That's what this week's bout is all about.

Duel on!

Washington Mutual has been recommended to Income Investor newsletter subscribers. Want to bank on other consistent income producers? The newsletter service is free for the next 30 days, with a trial offer.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz hasn't been inside a WaMu branch, though he really does love those commercials. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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