As the tense meetings about Lehman Brothers’ future dominated the weekend of September 13-14, Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain took advantage of the proximity of the remaining deep pockets to find a buyer for his company. Endless assurances from Thain that 94-year-old Merrill has enough capital were swallowed as the hour ticked by, and Bank of America gave a $50-billion, all stock transaction, yes.

There was a time in recent memory when BofA chairman CEO Ken Lewis strongly suggested he had had enough fun in the equities market. In BofA’s September 15 announcement, he said that “acquiring one of the premier wealth management, capital markets, and advisory companies is a great opportunity for our shareholders.” Wonder what they’ll say as the details emerge.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.