Ford's Tombstone For Wall Street ~ Steve Blitz Morning Notes
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ford's Tombstone For Wall Street

Too small for most of you to read, my apologies, so let me list the managing underwriters: Blyth & Co., First Boston, Goldman, Kuhn Loeb, Lehman, Merrill Lynch, White Weld. In the next line are bulge bracket firms: Eastman Dillon, Glore Forgan, Harriman Ripley, Kidder Peabody, Lazard Freres, Smith Barney, Stone & Webster, Union Securities, Dean Witter. Among those in the next category of underwriters: A.G. Becker, duPont & Co., Alex Brown, Hayden Stone, L.F. Rothschild, and Salomon Brothers & Hutzler.

Aside from being an interesting bit nostalgia of a world gone by, the tombstone is also reminder. Wall Street firms have always failed and disappeared yet the business of intermediating funds in the capital markets has continued to grow because of the needs of the nonfinancial economy. As long as the nonfinancial sector is healthy, the financial side will reinvent itself and fulfill its economic role. We see this happening now.

Policymaker's rushing to save investment firms first to the neglect of homeowners where the problem was rooted will prove out over time to have been wrong headed. Hopefully the economic rules makers will take another lesson from the tombstone -- lots of smallish firms got done the underwriting of the biggest IPO to date. And not one of them proved too big to fail.

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