Washington Mutual committed a “breach of empathy.” Here’s why that matters now more than ever.

In late 2008, Seattle’s adored Washington Mutual Bank (known locally and affectionately as WaMu) failed and subsumed in a shotgun wedding with Chase Bank. Seattle-ites were reeling in the early days of the Great Recession, and WaMu’s going under was salt in that raw wound as they watched thousands of friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues get laid off. Then came the final blow: Chase plastered this line on buses and billboards throughout the city: “Seattle: land...