No matter the reasons that resulted in the failure of Zions Bancorp and First Security Corp. to merge, the reality is a lot of people have been adversely affected by it.

Hundreds are without jobs due to the anticipation of merging the two financial institutions. A lot of consolidation had already taken place when Zions shareholders called the "wedding" off.

It can be argued they were being financially prudent to not accept the current terms of the agreement after First Security announced in early March its first quarter earnings were going to be as much as 27 percent below the fourth quarter of last year. That led to the value of the transaction going from $5.9 billion when it was initially announced last June, to $3.9 billion before shareholders voted last month.

Another view is that while Zions' shareholders would be hurt in the short-term, in the long-term the deal would still be good for both institutions and make the new bank a major player in the western states. It also would likely prevent another financial institution from acquiring First Security.

And while at this point First Security has indicated there won't be any renegotiations, it might be prudent to consider a new deal with new terms. Otherwise, the tens of millions of dollars already spent to combine the two companies' operations will truly be wasted.

For its part, Zions stands to lose some $100 million in the failed deal, including $75 million in the deflated value of First Security stock it owns and $25 million in attorneys and consultants fees.

First Security will lose millions of dollars devoted to the pre-merger activities plus stock options for 80 to 90 senior executives and 500 to 600 employees estimated to be worth $150 million had the deal gone through.

If, in fact, it doesn't make any sense business-wise to pursue a reconciliation, then both Zions and First Security are doing the right thing by putting the merger headache behind them and striking out on their own.

Obviously, last June, when it was first proposed, it was viewed as a good move by the leaders of both institutions.

That a poor first-quarter earnings report was basically able to derail the joint venture is unfortunate.

Before totally closing the door on the merger it would be prudent for management at both Zions and First Security to at least explore the possibility, however remote, of a joint future.