Consolidation is afoot in financial services. Only the informationally challenged could be oblivious to the mergers, alliances, and changing fortunes in the industry.

Travelers' proposed purchase of Salomon appears to have grabbed analysts' attention, both for the sheer size of the new firm and the cross- industry reach. Indeed, the joining of Travelers and Salomon speaks volumes about the future of financial services in general and banking in particular.

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