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The Financial Crisis: Five Years Later

Wall Street's Pre-Crisis Web of Contagion


Sept. 15, 2008: Bank of America agrees to purchase Merrill Lynch for $50 billion

In March 2008, on the eve of the failure of Bear Stearns, the U.S. financial system was interlinked in dangerous ways, as this chart shows. The firms with the greatest concentration of arrows aimed at them are the most exposed to counterparty risk. It’s based on credit-default swap data compiled in an International Monetary Fund report released in 2009.


Deal is a contributing graphics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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