Bank of America Reaches Deal To Buy Merrill Lynch

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Some quick links while we wait for Lehman's bankruptcy filing.
$$$ Bank of America is buying Merrill, the WSJ reports. The deal values the company at $44 billion, or $29 per share, a significant premium from Friday's market price. Everyone is perplexed by the premium. But if it is, as some have reported, an all stock deal and BofA shares take a significant hit in the wake of the news, the final price and the premium could be much lower.
Update: CNBC's Charlie Gasparino says the government pressured Merrill to sell itself. Maria Bartiromo says they weren't pressured.

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On CNBC they are saying that AIG has asked the Federal Reserve for some kind of emergency bridge loans. Can the Fed lend to an insurance company?
$$$ Federal Reserve is dramatically expanding its emergency lending program. It's now going to take all sorts of collateral, including equity.
$$$ A short list of Lehman's biggest holdings from the Fly.
$$$ John Gapper describes Richard Fuld as a tragic character, fierce, proud, flawed. And in the end, his flaws cost so many so much.
$$$ CNBC's Lehman special will run until 10 PM tonight.
$$$ Justin Lahart urges the US to own up to its banking crisis. "Quickly shrinking the financial sector could have a social cost, as well, putting tens of thousands of people out of work. Where will they go?" he asks.
$$$ Thoughts of David Einhorn and the shorts still haunt the thoughts of Wall Street executives, Louise Story at the NYT says.
$$$ "Take a very deep breath. It looks almost certain that this week will be the one where we see the financial implosion in U.S. banking and brokerage that many have been expecting for some time," Paul Kedrosky says.

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With Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns gone, everyone is asking whether Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will survive as independent investment banks.

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Thanks to everyone for following along all weekend. Your tips and comments were invaluable. Our condolences to all our friends and readers at Lehman.

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