An examination of the problems encountered in measuring competition and convenience in bank mergers and holding company acquisitions. The problems are both real and illusionary. Those that are illusionary include the assumptions that there is conflict between competition and those aspects of banking convenience related to monetary policy, among bank regulatory agencies over merger of standards, and between the convenience and needs and the competitive criteria. The two major sources of confusion appear to be lack of criteria for second-best decisions and uncertainty. Two important features emerge in considering the use by banking agencies of measures of convenience and competition: First, for the agencies, these have not been two independent criteria but two aspects of the same phenomenon; second, and most important, it is future rather than present convenience and competition that is relevant. 17 pp.
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