Six months into one of the most scrutinized takeovers in recent memory, Bank of America Corp. is pulling every lever imaginable to make its embattled purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. work.

Brian Moynihan, the B of A executive running the integration, last week outlined the steps taken to squeeze out profit from the troubled investment bank at a time when the parent company needs it most. A difficult task in itself, his job is complicated by unrelenting attention from the public, press and lawmakers over how the government-backed deal was handled and the $45 billion the company has received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

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