Bank of America received $45 billion bailout funds.
Bank of America spent $50 billion to acquire Merrill Lynch.
Bank of America CEO said told lawmakers this week that his company extended more than $115 billion in new credit to consumers and businesses during the fourth quarter.
Because 150 + 50 >> 45, it is clear that Bank of American could have survived AND loaned lots of money to customers without a bailout. Whether they would have bought Merrill is another story.