The Federal Reserve, in an attempt to prevent the crisis on Wall Street from infecting its two premier institutions, took the extraordinary measure on Sunday night of agreeing to convert investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. into traditional bank holding companies.
With the move, Wall Street as it has long been known -- a coterie of independent brokerage firms that buy and sell securities, advise clients and are less regulated than old-fashioned banks -- will cease to exist.
Dayum. Even though the end of the i-banks has been discussed, it's stunning to see it happen.
And it's not just the banks that are changing: "The SEC's future becomes dimmer with the change in Goldman and Morgan Stanley's structures." The Depression-era agency started with a bang (FDR on his founding chairman, Joseph Kennedy: "Set a thief to catch a thief") and may end with a whimper.