Rodge Cohen Discusses NYSE Merger and Bank of Asia Deal on CNBC

February 15, 2011
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On February 15, Mr. Cohen was a guest on CNBC’s “Strategy Session” where he discussed the merger deal between NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse, which will create the world’s largest exchange operator. Mr. Cohen said that such a merger would likely pose cultural challenges. “Culture is a word in mergers, which is overused and under-appreciated,” he said, adding, “culture can be within borders, as well as across borders.” However, Mr. Cohen also said, a deal like this could make sense given the economic climate. “Standing still in the financial services industry in this environment is no answer. In fact, it's the wrong answer,” he observed. He also discussed the significance of the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act, which gave the Federal Reserve regulatory power over the interchange fees banks charge for debit card usage. The amendment could have positive ramifications for retailers but is likely to hurt small banks, Mr. Cohen said. After the “Strategy Session,” Mr. Cohen also participated in an interview with host David Faber for CNBC.com about the Commercial Bank of China’s acquisition of the Bank of Asia’s U.S. unit. “I suspect that it will be approved,” Mr. Cohen said of the deal. “If it is, I think it will definitely open the way for other China-U.S. deals. There are not going to be mega deals, but there will be deals.”