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God, Country, Lehman

Still, Wall Street investment banks may remain in a bubble. Since 2009, the securities industry has averaged a negative net capital return.

The industry of 2018 will be very different from the present day, says Roy C. Smith, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business and former Goldman Sachs limited partner. He expects businesses like Merrill Lynch and Barclays' investment bank to eventually be split from their commercial banking parents. Firms such as Citigroup, JPMorgan, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, may also reconsider whether they want to own trading businesses.

"Everybody has had a lot of that piss and vinegar from the investment banks taken out of them," Smith says of banking conglomerates.

Personalities like Fuld could return. However, for that to happen, the industry will have to shrink to the point where firms are no longer a threat to the wider economy.

Don't count on it.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York.

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