Sun Sets for Top Japanese Firm

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TOKYO: It is, by all accounts, Japan's biggest corporate failure since World War II. The country's fourth-largest brokerage firm, Yamaichi Securities, announced early Monday that it would shut down its business, reports Money Daily. The news, relayed to the press by Japanese authorities, comes just a week after Hokkaido Takushoku Bank, one of Japan's 20 largest banks, closed its doors.

This high-profile failure has observers questioning whether other Japanese banks, insurers and brokerage firms could succumb. One theory is that economic problems have drained the Japanese government and private sector of the ability to save such institutions with emergency cash infusions or through friendly takeovers. Many Japanese financial institutions have been laid low by the country's seven-year tumble in land and stock prices and resulting bad-loan crisis.

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