Patently challenging


In 1980, Merrill Lynch struck upon a new idea that allowed its retail banking customers to undertake all their activity from one account, be it trading shares, depositing cash or using a debit card. The result was a securities brokerage account, which the bank called a cash management account – a familiar tool in many retail investors’ portfolios today. Less well known is that two years after filing its application, Merrill obtained a US patent for the concept. The various versions of the

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