I-banks and commercial banks just donÆt match

Investment banks are highly geared, highly cyclical, hard to control, risk-hungry and greedy. Why would any commercial bank want to buy one?

æHow datedÆ is the first thing that should have come to mind when viewing the speculation about which commercial bank was likely to buy Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs.

Over the past 10 years, commercial banks have set up all kinds of investment bank combinations in the hope they can turbo-charge their profits. That made superficial sense when you looked at the money the investment banks were making then. But the idea that commercial...

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