They say that those who forget history are bound to repeat it, so be prepared for the financial supermarket to return with a vengeance. That's because the business media, no more rooted in the past than a June bug, have lost count of how many times we've been down this failed road before.
Brace yourself for a moment before you read this lead of an Associated Press story:
"The original financial supermarket is dead. Citigroup (C) signaled the end of a decade-long experiment to create one-stop shopping for financial services -- everything from consumer loans to investment banking -- with Tuesday's announcement that it was merging its Smith Barney brokerage into a joint venture with Morgan Stanley."
The Associated Press was not confused -- it was merely wrong. But this morning's Wall Street Journal was a bit confused, caught in a neat declaration that glosses over history and reality:"Mr. Weill started building what would become Citigroup with his 1986 purchase of Commercial Credit, a struggling consumer-finance company based in Baltimore. Over the next 12 years, he acquired ever-larger financial institutions. The 1998 deal that formed Citigroup, at the time one of the largest in history, was initially trumpeted as precedent-setting."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV