Morgan Stanley, Wachovia Talk Merger: Report

According to a report, Morgan CEO John Mack got a call from Wachovia executives Wednesday.
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Publish date:

Updated from Wednesday, Sept. 17

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

is reportedly considering a merger with

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

or another bank, a tie-up that, if it occurred, would be the latest chapter in what is already one of the most transformational weeks ever on Wall Street.

The New York Times

reported on the possible Morgan and Wachovia pact, citing people who had knowledge of the talks.

According to the report, Morgan CEO John Mack got a call from Wachovia executives Wednesday. At this point, the report said, the discussions are at a preliminary stage. Morgan Stanley and Wachovia had no comment.

Meanwhile,

CNBC

reports Morgan is negotiating with the Chinese government for a fresh infusion of funds. The plan is to sell a piece of Morgan Stanley to a Chinese bank. Mack dealt with Chinese government officials Wednesday to line up money from China, CNBC reports, as well as lobbied top officials from the

Federal Reserve

and the

Treasury

for their approval for a Chinese bank to increase its stake in the company.

China's sovereign wealth fund,

China Investment Corporation

, owns 9.9% of Morgan.

Shares of both Wachovia and Morgan, which sank to a 52-week low in regular trading, were rising in the extended hours.

Already this week,

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

has filed for bankruptcy,

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

has agreed to be acquired by

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

and

AIG

(AIG) - Get Report

reached an arrangement for a

Federal Reserve

-led bailout.

With Lehman's Chapter 11 and Merrill's takeover, that left

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

and Morgan Stanley as the lone big U.S. investment banks. However, should Morgan join forces with Wachovia or another firm, Goldman will be the last of the large independent domestic investment banks.

On Tuesday, after both reported their quarterly results, Morgan and Goldman executives said they didn't need or plan to look for merger partners right now.

Meanwhile,

Washington Mutual

(WM) - Get Report

is reportedly on the auction block. A separate

Times

report said the lender has hired Goldman to find bidders, which could include

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

,

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

HSBC

(HBC)

.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.