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Is The WikiLeaks "Megaleak" About Merrill Lynch?

If the next WikiLeaks target is Bank of America , the information could come from a hard-drive of a top Merrill Lynch executive.

A Bank of America trader inside the NYSE.
Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com
A Bank of America trader inside the NYSE.

Although Charlie Gasparino reported that the big fear at Bank of America is that the documents show fraudulent lending at Countrywide, the far more persistent story I’ve heard is about Merrill Lynch.

The people I’ve talked to—including one who claims to have first hand knowledge (although I can’t confirm this) of the materials WikiLeaks has—say that Assange has a hard-drive that once belonged to a top (now former) Merrill Lynch executive. The details of what the documents show is still a mystery to these folks. This isn’t surprising, since the cache is said to include tens of thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of documents.

This information is very specific—multiple sources have all named the same executive. But this executive was widely disliked at Merrill and many blame him for the firm’s failure—which makes me a little skeptical. This might be another round of Merrill guys settling old scores. I won't name the executive whose hard drive is allegedly in the hands of the WikiLeakers without further support for these allegations

At least one person told me that he believes—although I haven’t been able to determine the basis for this belief—that the documents reveal that Merrill executives knew about losses at the firm long before they have admitted to knowing about them. Again: I cannot independently confirm this. And the sources I spoke with all have their well-worn axes to grind.

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