WALL STREET: Membership Has Its Woes

Membership Has Its Woes

All too aware of how fast the end came last month for Drexel Burnham Lambert, wags at the brokerage firm of Shearson Lehman Hutton are in pretty grim humor these days. The latest joke making the rounds of the troubled American Express subsidiary: "What's the difference between Shearson and Drexel?" Answer: "About three months."

American Express has tried for months to sell part of its 60% stake in the firm. The financial giant even talked with Sanford Weill, the former head of Shearson who sold the brokerage to American Express in 1981. Finally, with no buyers in sight, Chief Executive James...

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