Business & Finance: Prospering Upstart

Like a diamond in a coal bin this week glittered the annual report of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Beane, biggest of all Wall Street brokers (TIME, Aug. 4). Although the security business is awful, Merrill Lynch, which lost $308,000 in the last nine months of 1940, earned a smacking $459,258 in 1941.

This profit, moreover, was figured after paying some $650,000 total salaries for 63 partners, $200,000 taxes, earmarking $323,892 interest on capital invested.

No nurser of secrets, Merrill Lynch used most of a handsome 20-page report to tell Wall Street about its success. Its 29,886 new customers last year pushed M.L.'s...