02/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Merill Lynch Gave Out Billions Of Bonuses Before BofA Deal

Merrill Lynch took the unusual step of accelerating bonus payments by a month last year, doling out billions of dollars to employees just three days before the closing of its sale to Bank of America.

The timing is notable because the money was paid as Merrill's losses were mounting and Ken Lewis, BofA's chief executive, was seeking additional funds from the government's troubled asset recovery programme to help close the deal.

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