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A Stern Cross To Bear

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Last time we checked, the varying levels of cleanliness in any given bank had no direct effect on its earnings potential. But we were thinking along the lines of an overflowing wastebasket here, a dusty LCD screen there—not all-out filth so disgusting and repulsive that it could put any one of the city’s most unsanitary restaurants to shame. In other words, we weren’t thinking about Bear Stearns. Sick and tired of being just a tier-two institution, an after thought, a whatshisname? bank, Bear proudly made a name for itself last week when its in-house cafeteria failed a health code test, reports New York. The BS eatery racked up 42 points in violations; 28 is the number at which a restaurant will be shut down.

Among this year’s violations: milk or milk product undated, improperly dated, or expired; food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage; personal cleanliness inadequate (clean garments and effective hair restraint not worn). “We take all inspections very seriously, are proud of our track record, and made every effort to immediately address any concerns,” says a Bear spokeswoman. Bankers seem unfazed.

So: bankers have low standards when it comes to the sanitation of their surroundings. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. Which brings us to our next question:

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Bear vs. Germs: Inspections Hit Wall St. [NYM]