HISTORICALLY, Merrill Lynch has been one of the most powerful securities firms on Wall Street since it was established in 1907 by Edmund C. Lynch. However, beginning in the 1990s, Merrill Lynch, like so many other securities firms, was caught up in a swirl of civil and criminal charges resulting from corporate greed.

In the 1990s, Merrill served as the financial adviser for the Orange County Fund of California, which announced a $1.5 billion loss on December 1, 1994, making it the largest municipal failure ever reported in America, and miring Merrill Lynch in the worst scandal of its history. Robert L. Citron, the treasurer of the Orange County Fund, had worked with Merrill employees to purchase highrisk securities with large returns rather than the safer, ...

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