Losses today become tax benefits tomorrow, and with an eye to the future, companies are pooling all the red ink they can.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. bought the assets of Washington Mutual Inc. last year. Then when it appeared the shell of the bank holding company may contain $20 billion in losses, JPMorgan Chase hustled to court to claim some Wamu losses were "tax attributes not properly allocable to the debtor's estate."

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