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Wachovia

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 22, 2008 - The beleaguered banking giant Wachovia Corp. cut its dividend to near invisibility Tuesday as it posted a record second-quarter loss and said it would fire 6,350 workers. It also will eliminate 4,400 open positions and contractors. However, thanks in part to its acquisition of A.G. Edwards last year, one of the bright spots in Wachovia's financial picture was its brokerage business.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 29, 2008 - Monday's deal between Wachovia Corp. and Citigroup may provide temporary relief but could also cause uncertainty for Wachovia's St. Louis-based brokerage business.

The relief comes from Citigroup's willingness to buy the albatross of bad mortgages -- as well as the coveted retail banking business -- from Wachovia, essentially leaving the brokerage and asset management units as the "new" Wachovia.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 22, 2008 - What's the prospect, or wisdom, of a giant, lumbering bank holding company merging with a giant, staggering investment banking company?

When it comes to Wachovia Corp. and Morgan Stanley, the answer is "no one knows," because the economic landscape continues to shift dramatically and often.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 16, 2008 - Bailouts for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and American International Group. Bankruptcy for Lehman Brothers. The buyout of Merrill Lynch. The busted IndyMac Bancorp.

Given the continuing assault on the financial services industry, could Wachovia Corp. be the next domino to fall?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - When Wachovia Corp. bought A.G. Edwards last year, many financial analysts said the deal reflected another major step in the extinction of regional brokerages.

A.G. Edwards' management and stockholders decided that independence was strategically insupportable, but other St. Louis brokerages still embrace their freedom.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 15, 2008 - Wachovia Corp. has agreed to buy back from investors about $8.8 billion in controversial securities, settling allegations that its St. Louis-based brokerage unit misrepresented the ease with which consumers could get their money.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 12, 2008 - Controversial securities marketed by Wachovia Corp.'s St. Louis-based brokerage unit could cost the banking giant $500 million in legal settlements.

The company has set aside $500 million, before taxes, in reserves to cover "active settlement negotiations" with state regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission over its selling of auction-rate securities, Wachovia said in a document filed with the SEC Monday just as the markets were closing.

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 31, 2008 - Although a new TV ad is a warning against rapid-fire stock trading, a few analysts say this might be a money-raising strategy for Wachovia Corp. They suggest it could sell its brokerage business, Wachovia Securities, which acquired A.G. Edwards in October.

Wachovia says it’s keeping the St. Louis-based brokerage; but that hasn’t stopped RBC Capital Markets and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. from saying a sale would help repair some damage caused by its mortgage-lending.

Securities inspectors demand answers from Wachovia

Jul 17, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 17, 2008 - The last thing investors in Wachovia Corp. need is more bad news, given that the giant bank recently replaced its CEO and warned that second-quarter results would be dreadful.

Unfortunately, they got extra bad news Thursday as officers of the Missouri secretary of state inspected the St. Louis headquarters of its Wachovia Securities brokerage unit. The headquarters once belonged to A.G. Edwards, which was acquired by Wachovia last year.