NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I'm really surprised by the blase attitude that I've noticed in the financial press concerning the merger of NYSE-Euronext and the Deutsche Borse. It's been treated, so far at least, as just another financial combination, as if Bank of America ( BAC) was buying yet another failed mortgage company. But it's actually a symbol of Wall Street's self-inflicted decline.The boards of the two exchanges approved the merger yesterday, which means an icon of American capitalism falls under non-U.S. control for the first time since traders gathered under a buttonwood tree in 1792. The combined German-American stock exchange company will be 60% owned by the Frankfurt borse, and 40% by NYSE-Euronext shareholders. In other words, we've become minority owners of our own financial heritage, such as it is -- a fate that could not have been forced upon us by the Wehrmacht has been achieved, three generations later, voluntarily. Thank heavens, for their sake, that most of the World War II generation has died out. >>Silly Nationalism and the NYSE-Deutsche Boerse Deal Remember that this is not a "merger of equals," such has been proposed in the merger between the London and Toronto stock exchanges. Canadian authorities are deeply troubled by that merger, but so far there has been no such concern raised in the U.S. That's because there's no logical reason to oppose this merger -- only some squabbling about whose name to put on the front door, and who has the honor of running the obsolete New York trading floor. The merger itself is getting little flack for the simple reason that we've lost. We lost our moral leadership in the financial world, if we ever had any, in the 2008 financial crisis. There are barriers and armed guards at the intersection of Wall and Broad, but the real enemy of our values has not been bomb-throwing radicals but the recklessness of the people working in the surrounding area. German banks did not get us into this mess, and the German government responded forthrightly to the conditions that we caused by curbing speculation and credit default swaps, a move that was promptly opposed by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Canadian banks were similarly pillars of fortitude compared to our banks.