Warren Buffett has always said there's a natural progression in which things go wrong: First come the innovators, next come the imitators, and then come the idiots.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman is considering launching an Internet-based bank, which it could use to raise deposits it needs now that it, along with Morgan Stanley
Two thoughts come to mind about starting an online bank: the fierce competition, and what effect Goldman's top-tier name might have on the competition.
Several other banks and brokers offer ridiculously attractive online-banking products. E*Trade
On the other hand, simply using Goldman's brand name on a product that might be available to any average Joe would probably catch quite a bit of attention. For the same reason that AmEx attracts customers with its reputation of being the rich-man's choice, Goldman could probably entice customers that simply want to brag to their friends that they do their banking with a bank of such prestige.
Pretty incredible stuff when you think about it. The financial world's truly morphing before our eyes. Goldman reports earnings later this month -- perhaps we'll get more information about this latest move then.
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Fool contributor Morgan Housel doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. American Express Company is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of American Express Company and has a disclosure policy.