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Bank of America staffers in San Francisco shuttered the doors of their branch this week when a group of women aged 69 to 82, bearing signs in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and calling themselves the "wild old women," approached the building in walkers and wheelchairs to protest high fees, low taxes on banks and foreclosures. No arrests were reported.

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Bank of America has been cleared by the U.S. government to repay the $45 billion in TARP funds it received last year at the height of the banking crisis, and BofA may be preparing to do so before 2009 comes to a close. That said, it's not a foregone conclusion that the transaction will take place this month, even though the company has some built-in motivation to quickly make good on its payback promise.

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Another head of another big bank is rolling all the way out the door On Wednesday, Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis made the startling announcement that he was opting to take early retirement, effective the last day of this calendar year.

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