By David Henry NEW YORK (Reuters) - In September 2008, JPMorgan Chase & Co executives sifted through the rubble of Washington Mutual, the failed home loan bank that they had just won in a U.S. government auction. "It was an unexpected bonus," JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told Reuters in an interview, adding that the apartment lending business is the single most valuable asset that JPMorgan acquired in the auction. Washington Mutual's apartment lending business was the biggest of its kind in the United States and Dimon has made it even bigger.
Greece lurched deeper into crisis Wednesday as European finance ministers prepared to consider a request for new loans in a last-ditch effort to keep the country in the eurozone after it defaulted on a key payment and a bailout keeping its economy afloat expired. Cash-strapped Greece became the first developed country to default on the International Monetary Fund after missing a 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) payment on Tuesday, as efforts to find a compromise with its EU lenders came to naught. Athens is asking for a further 29.1 billion euros from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to "fully cover its financing needs and the simultaneous restructuring of debt," for the next two years, according to the prime minister's office.