Merrill Lynch CEO Reportedly Close To Resigning

The beleaguered chief executive of Merrill Lynch & Co. is reportedly close to resigning.

Stan O'Neal is being criticized or leading the world's largest brokerage to its biggest quarterly loss since it was founded 93 years ago and an unauthorized overture to sell the company to retail bank Wachovia Corp., based in North Carolina.

Several media reports say the board of Merrill Lynch reached a broad consensus Friday for O'Neal's dismissal. He would become the
highest-ranking casualty of the global credit crisis that swept through Wall Street's biggest investment banks during the third quarter.

A Merrill Lynch spokesman declined to comment Sunday.