Under the government's plan to acquire stakes in banking companies, strong institutions will have added cash to acquire weaker ones, and as the stock prices of so many targets plunge, dealmaking may get even easier.

"Market caps have already come down significantly, and between now and next year there could be more noise and unhappy news that could cause the market to be even lower than we see it today," Gary Townsend, the chief executive of Hill-Townsend Capital LLC, said Thursday.

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