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Wachovia
Wachovia
Market cap: $34.3 billion (as of 8/29)

Advantages:
Wachovia has a strong retail footprint in California and Florida, plus the big middle-markets business that Washington Mutual lacks. It also owns regional broker A.G. Edwards; Dimon has extensive experience running brokerage franchises dating back to his days at Smith Barney, and JP Morgan doesn't own a broker.

Disadvantages:
Wachovia is saddled with a large, risky mortgage book from its 2006 acquisition of Golden West, which was a leading issuer of so-called option adjusted rate mortgages -- loans that give borrowers the right to pay less than the full bill. Wachovia also has a new CEO, Robert Steel, and the board will want to give him time for a turnaround before it considers selling at fire-sale prices.

NEXT: SunTrust
Last updated September 04 2008: 11:00 AM ET
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