This chapter explains how intimate relations between the bank and its clients and investors strain the bank's boundaries. The intrusion of investors reversed the privileges of the trading room: from being an aggressively calculating center, it became subjected to calculations by investors; from being an engineer of finance, it became engineered by finance. Shareholders who intrude into the bank demand that banks be run as portfolios of securities are handled, which goes beyond the request that management rules be made public. They demand that the firm be nothing but a bundle of cleanly priced activities on par with, and comparable with, securities. This enforced porosity spurred a reaction among financial operators to engage in “reverse finance” to slow down the process of commoditization that threatened them.
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