In the past, we've joked
about Wall Street's amazing ability to convince companies that they need to acquire each other and merge to bring out "synergies" and then convince those same firms to later break themselves up into separate companies to "release shareholder value." It's all part of the shell game, where the investment bankers on Wall Street get to take out their huge fees whether a company is being built up or broken apart. It looks like the latest such target may be Yahoo, as an analyst at Sanford Bernstein has kicked off the discussion by noting that the company could release shareholder value by breaking itself up into three companies
. Which companies? Well, it would want to split up the search and the advertising parts of the business... you know, the same parts of the business that folks convinced Yahoo it needed to buy
four years ago if it was going to successfully take on Google. Now, of course, the only way for it to successfully take on Google is to get rid of those businesses. Luckily, the folks on Wall Street will happily help with both ends of the transaction for a
significant fee. Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong business.