Special Report: Japan's Nomura: Yen Power Goes Global

The world's richest securities firm expands aggressively on Wall Street -- and everywhere

For several years after World War II, the plain seven-story red-brick building that stands on the north bank of the Kanda River in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district housed a women's unit of General MacArthur's Occupation Army. On the outside, nothing distinguishes the building from other office blocks in the Japanese capital. Inside, employees toil elbow to elbow in open work areas illuminated by fluorescent lights, and the air is heavy with cigarette smoke. Yet the modest facade masks the nerve center of a powerful financial empire: Nomura Securities, the largest, richest and most profitable securities firm on earth.

With Japan riding high...

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