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The Philadelphia Story

September 16, 2008, 6:25 pm

So I called the Mother of the Radical (MOTheR) to see how she was holding up under the strain of Lehman Brothers’ collapse, and we discussed the news that yet another financial giant — Merrill Lynch — had been snapped up at a yard sale by Bank of America. I mentioned that the BOA is where I happen to do my banking, but only out of sheer laziness: I hate them but I hate the complexity of moving my accounts worse. Over a period of years I have seen them become a behemoth: my bank was swallowed by a bank which was swallowed by a bank which was swallowed by BOA. In my lifetime it has, in short, become the financial equivalent of The Eggplant That Ate Chicago. “Well,” MOTheR said,”It is just what I predicted a year ago.”

“Really?” I responded, thinking: has she moved all her money into T-Bills when I wasn’t looking? How did I fail to miss this and emulate the maternal unit’s sage thinking? After all, during one financial meltdown she actually made money with what she called at the time her “little investments” while the paternal unit lost a fair sum.

“Yes,” she said. “By next year, there will only be two banks left in the United States. Bank of American and Bryn Mawr Trust.”

You will only understand the humor in this if you are from the Main Line.

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