Business as usual for Merrill as BofA eyes prize

Despite $25 billon losses in the credit markets, a plummeting share price and an eventual $50 billion fire sale to Bank of America - slated for the first quarter of 2009 - commodity trading at Merrill Lynch is to carry on unaffected, as are the firm's expansion plans.

"We have not had any change in our mandate or authority," says Rupen Tanna, managing director and co-head of commodities at Merrill Lynch.

Though not ranked among the top five banks for global over-the-counter corporate commodity hed