Some people say that corporate clarity is a good idea; certainly the German stock market thinks so. Over the past 24 months in Frankfurt, specialized German firms have outperformed diversified companies by 20 percent.

German companies are generally diversified, and their move to clarity lags that of the U.S. and U.K. J.P. Morgan's Mergers and Acquisitions Analysis group has come up with an index that rates the country's corporations accordingly; diversified conglomerates, on a 100- point scale, generally rate in the 30s, while single-product firms rate higher.

But it's wise to recall that U.S. banks that stick to taking deposits and making loans are not entirely beloved by the stock market, while diversified banks have done well-never mind the GE's of the world.

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