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In the News Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Merger

July 15, 2009

VIEW: This excerpt from our documentary begins with the moment (after the acquisition's been approved) that Bank of America's Ken Lewis learns Merrill's projected to have huge losses in the fourth quarter of '08.

Lewis and Merrill's then-CEO John Thain are in the clip and both appear throughout this one-hour report, which you can view at our Web site -- Breaking the Bank.

UPDATE:: Bank of America takes issue with the last section in this clip in which FRONTLINE reports that then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson offered Lewis billions more to cover Merrill's toxic assets, but it was kept secret for almost a month.

Bank of America wrote the following to FRONTLINE:

"It is Bank of America's position that there was no agreement in place with the government before mid-January. While there was general consensus that something would be done, the shape of and ultimate
agreement to that assistance was not apparent or agreed to until mid-January."

FRONTLINE stands by its reporting. We believe the facts as we report them are
backed up by the public record: that in December of 2008, Bank of
America and the U.S. government agreed to the basic outlines of a deal
that would allow the Bank to proceed with the Merrill merger, and
that the government would provide additional financial assistance to
the Bank.

LISTEN NOW: FRONTLINE's Podcast with producer Michael Kirk and former IMF economist, Simon Johnson.

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