Technology never seems to deal bankers an easy hand. In their perplexity, they can easily lose sight of the fact that some of the biggest companies that supply technology face many of the same challenges-in spades.

Oracle Corp., for one, might be blamed along with other high-tech leaders for foisting unneeded costs and confusion on the financial industry. In his speech Wednesday to the Retail Delivery '98 conference in Las Vegas, Oracle chairman Larry Ellison joked that his industry became the most profitable in the world "by selling products people don't want to buy, and charging top dollar for them."

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