In a rushed bid to ride out the storm sweeping American finance, 94-year-old Merrill Lynch & Co. agreed late Sunday to sell itself to Bank of America Corp. for roughly $44 billion.I know that Bank of America is pretty sound financially, but if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were "too big to fail," what does that make Bank of America?
The deal, which was being worked out in 48 hours of frenetic negotiating, could instantly reshape the U.S. banking landscape, making the nation's prime behemoth even bigger. The boards of the two companies approved the deal Sunday evening, according to people familiar with the matter.
Driven by Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis, Bank of America has already made dozens of acquisitions large and small, including the purchase of ailing mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. earlier this year. In adding Merrill Lynch, it would control the nation's largest force of stock brokers as well as a well-regarded investment bank.
A combination would create a bank of vast reach, involved in nearly every nook and cranny of the financial system, from credit cards and auto loans to bond and stock underwriting, merger advice and wealth management.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Bank of America Buys Merrill Lynch for $44 Billion
From the Wall Street Journal: