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by Derek Loosvelt | October 13, 2008


After a tough week for Morgan Stanley that saw its share price crash by more than 60 percent on rumors that Mitsibushi was pulling out of its agreement to buy 20 percent of the struggling investment bank, the deal was sealed today, immediately sending Morgan’s share price in the other direction—85 percent in the other direction. This means Morgan shareholders and insiders, including CEO John J. Mack (the Knife), can breathe a little easier today.

Meanwhile, it was just announced that Morgan’s main competitor and fellow holding company Goldman Sachs has filed for a New York State bank charter. The announcement, made by New York Governor David Paterson, means that Goldman will likely target high-net-worth clients instead of offering retail banking services to every Average Joe Sixpack throughout the country. Unlike a national charter—which Morgan Stanley, Citi, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase all have—Goldman’s charter only allows it to open branches in New York. Shunning a huge consumer banking strategy (and Joe) should allow Goldman to maintain its image as the elite of the Street formerly known as Wall.

And if you want to know how Goldman has been able to maintain this image all these years, Charles D. Ellis will tell you in his new 779-page book, . Here’s the Times review. (And here's the short answer: culture.)


Filed Under: Finance