(Bloomberg) -- Shareholders of Wall Street banks who agree with former Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sanford "Sandy" Weill that the companies should be broken up face an obstacle: bondholders.

That's because trading on Wall Street relies on borrowed money, or leverage, that can be obtained cheaply as long as the traders belong to a conglomerate such as Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. or Citigroup that gets federally insured deposits. Jefferies Group Inc., a securities firm that isn't part of a bank and can't turn to the Federal Reserve for help, currently is charged more to borrow in the credit markets.

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