This week’s Economist notes the size of Merrill Lynch (ML) as the leader in Global Assets. In addition, a two-page ad touting this status is also part of the first section of the magazine. Aside from verifying why reading from the front to the back yields shorter reading duration, I realized that ML is attempting to re-emerge and redefine the brand. Over three years ago, and just shy of three years before ML would ‘crash’, my husband I were successful in purchasing our first home but not without nearly losing it. We researched and requested a 30 year, fixed interest loan and at least 3 times ML tried to talk us into a 10 year interest only loan. On the last day the purchase agreement was in effect, ML called to say there were no comparables in our area, but if we agreed to a 10 year interest only loan, we would be accepted immediately. With the help of a different, and actually reputable banker, we were able to extend the purchase agreement with the sellers, and buy our home, in one of the most steady growth areas of the past 5 years, within 2 weeks at the price and with the loan we had requested. We live in a humble home that’s nearly 15 years old allows us to make minor improvements whilst also enjoying some of the finer things in life. We are thankful that we are not in a home we can’t afford but that we do have a home that has maintained its value. My hope as this new B of A backed giant regains its place in the world is that they finally have leadership that leads with integrity. As with every round, we’ll continue to trust karma.