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Bank of America Acquires Merrill Lynch

Bank of America has agreed to purchase investment banking firm Merrill Lynch. Charlotte-based Bank of America is calling its 50-billion dollar deal to buy Merrill Lynch an investment opportunity of a lifetime. Merrill Lynch is the nation's largest brokerage firm. Just last year, it was worth more than 100-billion dollars, but that was before risky real estate investments left the company struggling. On a conference call, Bank of America's C-E-O Ken Lewis said the deal makes sense. "This causes us to in an immediate fashion to be a world class investment bank, not have to build these things out slowly," he says. Lewis says there will be job cuts, but he did not hint at any number or where from. Merrill Lynch's C-E-O says the company approached Bank of America after weighing what a Lehman Brothers bankruptcy might do to the marketplace.