Business & Finance: Giannini-Blair

Banking mergers usually proceed through a long period of surmise, rumor and denial until their final announcement is purely a formality. Sudden, unexpected, however, was last-week's announcement that Bank of America N.A. and Bancamerica, its investment company, were to consolidate with the famed private banking house of Blair & Co. Never before in Manhattan* had a commercial bank merged with an investment bank. That Bank of America was contemplating a merger was common knowledge, but that Blair & Co. would constitute the other half of the combination was indeed a surprise.

Central figures in...

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