The Senate Banking Committee released the findings from its investigation of Washington Mutual – the largest S&L and largest bank failure. My research specialty is “control fraud.” These are frauds led by those that control seemingly legitimate entities and use them as a “weapon” to defraud. Financial control frauds’ “weapon of choice” is accounting. Lenders optimize accounting fraud by following a four-part recipe:

Extreme growth
Making bad loans at high interest rates
Extreme leverage
Trivial loss reserves