SECURITIES: Non-Competitive Victory

Until last week old-style investment bankers led by Manhattan's Morgan Stanley & Co. relied on argument and an attitude of dignified disdain to discourage competitive bidding for corporate securities. Their argument: competitive bidding disrupts the banker-client relationship ("You might as well get bids on an appendectomy").

Last week, in addition to theory, Wall Street had a case to back its contention that competitive bidding is not all it seems. Surprising even to Wall Street, the case had a turn that no advocate of noncompetitive bidding had dared to suggest as an argument...

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