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Merrill Lynch Came Up With A Cute New Word

Fedexodus will save us all...Fedexodus will kill us.
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Like Pharaoh. Or God.

The folks at Merrill (NYSE: BAC) really dug deep for a moniker befitting to that definitely-a-sure-thing-this-time-yes-I-know-we’ve-said-it-before-but-for-real-now December rate hike.

Meet “Fedexodus.”

It's not bad, although one wonders what the author of the original Exodus might think.

What does it mean? Well, it could be argued that Merrill’s analysts spent less time analyzing what liftoff will mean than they did crafting a new portmanteau.

Here's the short answer: nothing much good, but nothing much bad, either.

The market has now endured two “taper tantrums,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Ethan Harris wrote, and seems to be in a good state of mind as the central bank prepares for its “Fedexodus.” The market isn’t freaking out about China anymore, he noted, the economy is more resilient than in the past, and partisan brinksmanship is fading in Washington. At this initial stage of the Fedexodus, he sees reasons to be optimistic.

As ‘Fedexodus’ Looms, Big Stock-Market Gains ‘May Be Behind Us’ [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]


No One Told Ken Lewis Shareholders Needed To Know About Merrill's Massive Losses, Okay?

Remember in 2008, when Ken Lewis was all, “Oooh, wait, I don’t know about this Merrill Lynch thing, it looks kinda bad, I don’t think I want to buy it anymore, I’m nervous [bites nails, shifts weight from one foot to the other like he has to pee]” and tried to back out of the deal? And Hank Paulson threatened to stuff him in a meat locker if he did so Lewis said okay, fine, I’ll buy it and then did, without mentioning anything to shareholders about Merrill's impending losses? Well 1) People are still upset about it but 2) Ken was under the impression shareholders were on a need to know basis. Top executives at Bank of America Corp did not tell shareholders just prior to a 2008 vote on its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co that losses were mounting and expected to weigh down earnings for years, papers filed in private shareholder litigation show. But the bank and former Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis said in their own court papers that they should not be liable to shareholders who claimed to have lacked information they needed to vote on the once $50 billion merger. Lewis also said he had been advised by the bank's law firm and chief financial officer that no disclosure was necessary. No further questions. BofA masked Merrill loss before 2008 vote: filings [Reuters]