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Case Study of the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Merger

27 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2010 Last revised: 22 Sep 2015

Robert J. Rhee

University of Florida - Levin College of Law

Date Written: March 27, 2010

Abstract

This is a case study of the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch merger. It is based on the article, Fiduciary Exemption for Public Necessity: Shareholder Profit, Public Good, and the Hobson’s Choice during a National Crisis, 17 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 661 (2010). The case study analyzes the controversial events occurring between the merger signing and closing. It reviews in depth the circumstances under the federal government threatened to fire the board and management of Bank of America unless it consummated the Merrill Lynch acquisition. Among other issues, this case study raises the questions: (1) what is the role of a private firm during a public crisis? (2) what are the responsibilities of the board? (3) what is the role of government and how should it treat private firms? This case study can be used in corporate ethics classes in business schools, or business associations classes in law schools.

Keywords: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Public Crisis, Financial Crisis, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Ethics, 122(12)

JEL Classification: G1, G18, G2, G24, G28, G3, G38, K00, K2, K20, K22, K23, M1, M14, L21

Suggested Citation

Rhee, Robert J., Case Study of the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Merger (March 27, 2010). U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1579397

Robert J. Rhee (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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