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Bank of America in discussions to pay back bailout

http://66.225.205.104/LM20090902.mp3

Bank of America is reportedly talking to treasury officials about paying back some of the bailout money it received. WFAE's Lisa Miller has more: The Wall Street Journal reported this week the bank wants to pay off $20 billion it received to bolster its acquisition of Merrill Lynch. That's nearly half the total amount of bailout money the government sunk into Bank of America. That money came with a lot of prying regulatory eyes that analysts say the bank is trying to rid itself of. UNC Charlotte Banking Professor Tony Plath says the government may not be so quick to let Bank of America give the money back. "The government may want them to keep the capital they have, that's surplus right now, to see what the 3rd and 4th quarters look like to make sure they've got enough of a cushion to write down loan losses," says Plath. Bank of America received one of the largest loans the Treasury issued to the banks. That means the government is keeping an even closer eye on the bank's activities. Plath says Bank of America really wants to let go of the money partly because of the government's efforts to regulate salaries. He says the bank is losing some employees to other financial services companies. A Bank of America spokesman did not comment on the issue.