from the Wall Street Journal:
Imagine you are John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch. Unlike [Lehman CEO] Dick Fuld, who has held tight, in July you sold collateralized debt obligations with a face value of $31 billion at 22 cents on the dollar. But you still are capital constrained.
And now you are asked by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, the man who didn’t make you CEO of Goldman Sachs, to put up billions of dollars to save Lehman? So that Barclays or Bank of America can pick up Lehman on the cheap to compete with you? It is humiliating enough that you may soon need one of those banks to bail you out. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reports that BofA and Merrill are in merger talks.