The deal in which regulators strong-armed Bank of America into taking over Merrill Lynch might be the most controversial government-backed transaction of the credit crunch, according to The Economist. Former BofA CEO Ken Lewis promised a huge benefit, but "cross-selling" turned out to be difficult to implement. "Nonetheless, some of the merger benefits ... Lewis touted look real enough," The Economist notes. "With the worst of the mortgage losses behind it, BofA can focus on the good things that Merrill has brought: strength in several (relatively) fast-growing businesses and a platform for global expansion."

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