Pfizer-Wyeth deal: more questions than answers

The fires of debate are still blazing in the Pfizer-Wyeth purchase, with everyone from analysts and industry insiders to employees and shareholders weighing in on the $68 billion dollar deal. 

Whether the goal of the deal might be to diversify the drug portfolio or to help push back the fallout from patent expirations for major player drugs like Pfizer's Lipitor, it is obviously is more evidence of the financial crisis hitting the U.S. pharma industry. 

It's also proof that Pfizer has a lot of cash on hand--cash that many are complaining is inappropriate bailout money.

Some questions on the minds of many investors: Is this just some smoke-and-mirrors scheme to dilute shareholder value? Does it bring any long-term benefit to the investor? Dividends and stock prices will go down, hurting current retirees, but will that protect Pfizer's long-term stability?

And for employees, does this mean more jobs down the drain? Probably. What are the benefits for healthcare consumers? No one's sure. What about antitrust laws? 

How will the takeover effect the current partnership between Wyeth and Elan? Will Elan become part of the package? If so, when?

While the companies' CEOs can answer some of the questions, it's going to take some times before we see what the real results of the deal will be.

- read about it in the Wall Street Journal
- see more on banking and the deal at CNN Money
- here the Wall Street Journal blogs the press conference