In terms of what the Washington Mutual takeover means to regular people, the company's employees won't feel any immediate impact (they'll report to work as usual today), customers can still get to their cash, but shareholders will lose out.
Here's how it breaks down, according to the Seattle Times (WaMu is a Seattle-based company):
The $1.9 billion that JPMorgan paid for WaMu's operations will go into a fund overseen by the FDIC for WaMu's creditors. The only investors likely to get anything will be holders of WaMu's senior unsecured debt. With $7 billion of that outstanding, those investors are looking at a payout of around 27 cents on the dollar. Stockholders will get nothing, as will holders of more than $11 billion in WaMu subordinated debt and preferred stock.
Shareholders of the company's stock (symbol WM) already saw shares plunge from nearly $40 a year ago to $4 in early September. The stock dropped to $1.69 yesterday and was trading around $1.50 this morning.