The Next Meltdown

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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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