The Next Meltdown

President Obama is speaking tonight, apparently to assure us all that his administration has the financial crisis resolved. Don't bet on it. To see why, let me take you back a couple of years.

In the fall of 2007, facing billions in losses on Merrill Lynch's holdings of toxic assets, then-CEO Stan O'Neal approached his board at least twice to sell Merrill or merge it with a major bank -- and at least twice got rejected.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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