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    Friday, January 11, 2008

    The Consolidation Of Ultimate Power Has Begun

    In what can only be bad news for the average consumer, Bank of America is about to grow, one subprime lender at a time.

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Bank of America said Friday it will buy Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion in stock, a deal that rescues the country's biggest mortgage lender and expands the financial services empire of the nation's largest consumer bank.

    The acquisition will make Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. the nation's biggest mortgage lender and loan servicer.

    Via Yahoo News.  Egads.

    Want more good news?  I suppose that if you have WaMu stock, you should keep it.

    Washington Mutual, the U.S. savings and loan slammed by slumping mortgage markets, has held "very preliminary" merger talks with JPMorgan Chase, CNBC has learned.

    No deal is imminent but the talks were held fairly recently.

    Also on Yahoo.

    There was a time, not too long ago, it seems, that a merger could be said to bring economies of scale to the larger company, and that those savings would inevitably come back to the consumer. 

    I'm thinking that time is long since past, since the advent of the MegabankTM.  Both WaMu and Countrywide have huge shares of the mortgage market, so both purchases can be interpreted as "market saviour" type purchases.  You can also be certain that in the present regulatory environment, it would be a miracle for either of these mergers to be stopped.  So some might think that in the end, these mergers are good things.

    Be afraid.
    Be very afraid.


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