The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche B?rse hoped it would be third time lucky, as the pair confirmed they were in advanced talks about merging.
The London and Frankfurt exchanges tried to integrate in 2000 and 2005, but their overtures were rejected by shareholders.
Times have changed since then. Only 10% of the LSE's and Deutsche Borse's revenues now come from trading in equities;
both have expanded into derivatives, clearing houses and other financial services.
China's government ousted Xiao Gang as head of the securities regulatory commission for failing to prevent the bubble,
or manage the bust, in the country's stockmarkets, which fell sharply again this week.
Mr.Xiao's replacement is Liu Shiyu, the chairman of Agricultural Bank of China and a former deputy governor of the People's Bank of China.
China, including Hong Kong, has surpassed America as the country with the most dollar billionaires,
according to Hurun, a publication, and is home to 568 billionaires compared with America's 535.
The figures for China were based on share prices in January, and take account of tumbling stockmarkets.
India came third on the list with 111 billionaires. Britain and Germany were joint fourth with 82 each, followed by Russia on 80.
Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, again dampened expectations of an interest-rate rise this year when he told a committee in Parliament that, on the contrary,
he wasn't ruling out cutting the bank's benchmark rate to zero if the British economy worsened.
A fall in profit in its Asian business helped push HSBC to an $858m quarterly pre-tax loss
(pre-tax pro?t for all of 2015 came in at $19 billion).
It also had to put aside money for legal costs as American regulators have now added HSBC to the list of banks they are investigating for employment practices in Asia.
Standard Chartered made an annual loss of $2.4 billion, its first since 1989.
Saudi Arabia's oil minister surprised energy markets by reiterating that he would be happy to see oil prices fall to $20 a barrel to squeeze out “inefficient, uneconomic producers”.
The minister's remarks somewhat undermine the kingdom's pact with Russia to freeze oil production in order to boost prices (though only if other big producers do the same).
BHP Billiton joined the list of mining giants to publish dismal earnings on the back of the slump in commodity prices,
when it reported a $5.7 billion six-month loss.