Can Bear Stearns Trade Up?

A visit to James E. Cayne at his office at Bear, Stearns & Co.'s Manhattan headquarters is never dull. An animated storyteller and natural salesman, the 61-year-old chief executive likes to regale visitors with tales about his travels, philosophy, competitors--and deals. Next to his desk is an oversized deal momento: a shiny red motorcycle, a gift from Ek Chor China Motorcycle Co., a Chinese company that he helped win an underwriting assignment from in 1993.

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