Wachovia Stanley? Really?

Why on earth did John Mack put out a memo today blaming short-sellers for the decline in Morgan Stanley’s share price? It’s the corporate equivalent of pinning a "kick me" sign to your own back — and it looks like it might have helped drive him into the arms of Wachovia, of all possible merger partners.

Yes, Wachovia has a deposit base, but that’s a bit like your would-be spouse having a pulse: a necessary precondition, but hardly reason to get married. If these two do end up in a shotgun wedding, I predict divorce within a couple of years. On the other hand, when the alternative is summary execution at the hands of a brutal market, it’s amazing how attractive that altar in Charlotte can become.

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