Merrill Lynch acquisition puts Bank of America on top

01/2/2009 | CNNMoney

Bank of America has finalized its purchase of Merrill Lynch, ending nearly a century of independence for the brokerage and investment banking giant and forging the nation's biggest bank with an estimated $2.7 trillion in assets. BofA gains 17,000 brokers, the fifth-ranked investment bank in terms of debt and equity underwriting and a nearly 50% share of BlackRock, a powerful money-management firm.

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