J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank One expect to cut 10,000 positions as a result of their $60 billion merger, announced late Wednesday afternoon.

The cuts would amount to approximately 7% of their combined U.S. workforce.

In a conference call Wednesday evening, the chief executives of each company portrayed their agreement as a "transformational" merger to create a nationwide consumer powerhouse.

That is exactly how William B. Harrison Jr., chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, characterized his agreement in the fall of 2000 to combine Chase Manhattan Corp. with J.P. Morgan & Co., the Wall Street investment bank. Revisiting that deal this time around, Harrison said it was only transformational in terms of wholesale banking. The combined J.P. Morgan Chase lacked a substantial retail operation that the Bank One deal would cure.

"This really makes us a major consumer player in the U.S.," Harrison said on the conference call Wednesday. "We were a major wholesale player but we were not balanced," he added. "This creates a firm that is very balanced."

For his part, Bank One Chairman and CEO James Dimon, who would become president of the combined company and succeed Harrison as CEO in 2006, said the deal would create a company that was "bigger, stronger, [had] more products and services" in an array of consumer and asset management businesses.

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