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Lehman Files for Bankruptcy; Merrill Is Sold

In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself on Sunday to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy protection and hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer.

Last week was traumatic. But the crisis is still a long way from resolution.

Bankers with two or three decades of experience used the words “scary,” “terrifying” and “horrible” to describe the situation.

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