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!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.