Due Diligence: Are Banks Doing It With Undue Haste?

Some observers fear that banks, even in the biggest deals, have been overly speedy in doing due diligence, and that the quality of the process has been compromised. Page 5A

The Biggest Year for Big Bank Deals

The total value of mergers and acquisitions in financial services is already triple that of any previous year, and there's still six months to go. What's happening ? Page 4A

Big Mergers: A Laughing Matter

The surge of banking mergers has brought with it a slew of humor- cartoons, jokes, and the like-that reflects the public's uneasy and ambivalent attitude toward consolidation. Page 8A

Banks Are Finding a Way Around Legal Obstacles

While Congress plods on in its efforts to reform the banking laws, the industry is taking it upon itself to modernize banking by finding ways around the existing restrictions on consolidations. Page 11A

Interest in Buying Community Banks Is Waning

After a few years of actively acquiring community banks, the big institutions have lost interest, and the few deals being done involve much smaller prices than previously. Page 12A

In the Rest of the World, Consolidation Has Just Begun

Fueled by mounting global competition, worldwide consolidation in banking and financial services is gathering speed. Within the next few years, large numbers of banks, insurance, and securities companies are expected to disapper. Page 22A

TABLES BEGIN ON PAGE 6

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