Bank of America has lurched from one public relations disaster to another this year. Its CEO has become a polarizing figure in an increasingly unpopular industry and recent announcements of job cuts in the neighborhood of 30,000 people have left the market rife with speculation about its future.

Even the once high-flying Merrill Lynch may have suffered a blow to its reputation. While it seems insulated from significant job cuts for now, the market is buzzing about how much of the parent's sins will be visited upon the subsidiary.

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