In November, Germany's Deutsche Bank said it would acquire Bankers Trust Co., the eighth-largest bank in the United States, for $10 billion, or about 2.3 times book value. This trans-Atlantic takeover proposition is significant for a number of reasons.

This would be the largest takeover of a U.S. bank by a foreign institution, creating a financial services company with $840 billion of assets. The deal represents the culmination of a series of attempts by Deutsche Bank to gain a foothold in the U.S. capital markets. But as with dinosaurs, size does not ensure long-term dominance or longevity.

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