The timing of the 'give-away' of the retail units was possibly one of the worst in the history of American business.

This event highlights once again the difficulty in determining earnings for derivative transactions. It also encourages those who feel that bank accounting in this area is weak. It is a reason why many large banking companies have such low multiples on their stock.

It makes a sale of the company easier in one case and more expensive in the other.

Clearly no one would have expected someone who has been as successful as Cathy has been in consumer marketing to wind up in the payments-services business. But on the other hand, if she emerges as a problem solver, this could help propel her to the top management ranks.

It is a kind of a way to play games with monthly payments. Stretching out the mortgage maturity is simply a way to lower month payments and stimulate sales.

This deal is a winner for J.P. Morgan. The bank is already the dominant brand in the New York metropolitan market and this deal will seal that dominance.