Government: How Not to Get Married

Beaming like bridegrooms, officers of New York's Manufacturers Trust Co. and the Hanover Bank five years ago proudly announced a corporate wedding: the nation's seventh and 17th largest banks were merging into Manufacturers Hanover Trust, which, with $6 billion in assets, almost overnight became the U.S.'s fourth biggest bank. The marriage was hardly consummated, however, before a federal judge ordered divorce proceedings on grounds of antitrust violation. Bankers were faced with the staggering project of unraveling 135 merged offices and a million depositors. Last week, after five years of uncertainty, the...

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