Merrill Lynch Acquisition Finally Paying Off for Bank of America


Among the bright spots in Bank of America's earnings report this morning was the performance of Merrill Lynch, the acquisition of which during the height of the crisis drove Bank of America into the TARP program, the political consequences of which subsequently drove former CEO Ken Lewis to lose his job, the respect of his own mother, and also perhaps his mind. According to Bloomberg, revenue from the investment bank have helped bring profits this quarter to a record $7 billion and, more important, back to normal.

From Bloomberg:

“It was a mega-huge trading quarter,” even better than JPMorgan Chase & Co., said Nancy Bush, an independent bank analyst. “Bank of America and JPMorgan, at least in the capital markets, have overcome the disruption. The financial crisis is over for these companies.” Benefits from Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch purchase are occurring at least three quarters earlier than expected, Bush said.

Reading that ought to feel pretty good for Lewis. Reading the following probably does, too.

Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan ... is trying to repair relations with Congress and regulators, which frayed during the months before the December retirement of his predecessor, Kenneth D. Lewis.

At least they're someone else's problem now.

Bank of America Posts Profit on Merrill Lynch Revenue [Bloomberg]