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MERRILL TRADER LOSES $120MM

The last thing Bank of America needs right now is more losses related to their horrible Merrill Lynch acquisition.  Apparently, a currency trader gambled away a princely sum of $120MM.

One Merrill Lynch trader apparently gambled away more than $120 million in the currency markets. Others seemingly lost hundreds of millions on tricky credit derivatives.

But somehow all this red ink did not spill into plain view until after Merrill earmarked billions for bonuses and staggered into the arms of Bank of America.

Not only is this merger turning out to be a financial blackhole for B of A, but the cultures are not meshing well:

“There is a massive cultural disconnect in the trading area,” said Brad Hintz, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. “You have Bank of America, where it would seem foreign to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet, and at Merrill, the legacy is still there, from the C.D.O.’s and the risks they took on.”

As I’ve said for almost a year, Ken Lewis has failed.  CountryWide was bad enough, but buying Merrill at $29 is simply unforgivable.

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