Accounting Standards

Financial Disclosure Problems Strike Again

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Reuters photos
BofA's upper management, led by former CEO Ken Lewis (left) opposed disclosure. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson threatened to replace Lewis if the deal was halted.

Bank of America management, with likely involvement from the U.S. Treasury, ignored the advice of its company treasurer, external auditor and later its own general counsel by not disclosing the pre-merger losses at Merrill Lynch.

More and more of the details are emerging about what really happened during the tense moments back in November and December of 2008 at the height of the credit crisis when Bank of America either voluntarily or involuntarily acquired Merrill Lynch, a Wall Street investment firm that had already suffered billions in losses and was heavily exposed to the crumbling debt markets.

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