The economic health of any industry is proxied by the extent to which its discounted-cash-flow value exceeds its book value. This excess, in turn, varies inversely with the industry's competitive intensity.

Given perfect competition, the shareholder should expect to earn no more than the riskless rate and the going market price of risk. In other words, the ratio of discounted-cash-flow value to book value should approximate one-to-one, which is about what it was in banking five years ago.

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