The merger between Merrill Lynch and Bank of America was sold to us as a marriage made in heaven that would save the financial system. It wasn’t, and it didn’t. Now Frontline takes a closer look at the now-infamous debacle that cost tax payers billions — and CEO Ken Lewis his chairmanship.
Things we already knew that were confirmed by Frontline:
- John Thain, the former CEO of Merrill Lynch, is a slippery mofo.
- Hearing Ken Lewis describe sh*tcanning John Thain is as fun as you think it will be.
- Hearing John Thain describe being sh*tcanned by Ken Lewis is equally fun.
- Bank of America was too eager to show Wall Street who was boss — and ended up stuck with Merrill.
- Merrill Lynch executives were more interested in their own compensation than pretty much anything else.
- Paulson thought the merger would stop the financial crisis and restore confidence to the markets even though Lehman Brothers went under. Paulson was not correct.
- Austan Goolsbee says funny things in interviews.