Bank Of America Ousts Former Merrill Chief

The giant brokerage Merrill Lynch was reeling from the credit crisis in September and was taken over by Bank of America. On Thursday, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis ousted John Thain, the former CEO of Merrill Lynch. It came out recently that Thain continued to pay big bonuses to Merrill employees despite the financial problems. Merrill revealed billions in losses last year, forcing Bank of America to ask the government for financial help.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with a giant merger gone awry.

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MONTAGNE: It was described as a shotgun marriage. The giant brokerage firm Merrill Lynch was reeling from the credit crisis in September, and threw itself into the arms of the more stable Bank of America. Now, that merger is on the rocks. Yesterday, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis ousted the former CEO of Merrill Lynch, John Thain. It came out recently that Thain continued and slipped in big bonuses to Merrill Lynch employees before the merger. Merrill revealed billions in losses last year, forcing Bank of America to ask the government for financial help.

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