A big piece of the new brokerage giant that will emerge from the Dean Witter-Morgan Stanley merger doesn't seem to fit with the two companies' securities-oriented competencies.

That piece-the Discover card business-was started by Sears, Roebuck and Co. a decade ago and, as part of Sears' 1993 Dean Witter spinoff, grew to become the second-largest U.S. credit card lender.

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