Late Lunchtime Links: Analyst predicts Merrill Lynch will spin out of Bank of America very soon

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In yesterday's excitement about the suggestion that Barclays (Capital) should spin out of Barclays, it was easy to overlook the lone voice of Chris Whalen on Fox TV. Founder of Institutional Risk Analytics and a long term critic of banks and investment banking, Whalen confidently predicted that Bank of America will spin out Merrill Lynch, "quite soon."

"It's a portable business," said Whalen and although Merrill has been integrated into BofA, it could be "spun out very easily". The most likely method would be via an IPO, he suggested. The only problem would be the $30bn+ in outstanding litigation exposure attached to Merrill, which Whalen said the bank would have to 'take with it."


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