General Electric Co. manufactures electrical equipment, lighting products and household appliances. It also owns the broadcasting network NBC. In terms of market capitalization, GE is the world's second largest company and also second in the BrandZ ranking. In the 1960s, aspects of U.S. tax laws and accounting practices led to a rise in the assembly of conglomerates. GE, which was a conglomerate long before the term was coined, is arguably the most successful organization of this type.
Bank of America is the biggest bank in America and one of the ten largest banks in the world. BofA has been the target of much recent criticism for its extensive involvement in the subprime lending markets that precipitated the current recession and for a shotgun merger with Merrill Lynch that critics say damaged the bank's share value.
GMAC offers financing to General Motors dealerships and customers, as well as other dealerships. GMAC has also been one of the largest mortgage issuers and servicers in the United States, through its Residential Capital subsidiary, and GMAC insurance sells car and home insurance. GMAC's finance arm also offers financing to middle market businesses.
On November 21 GMAC applied for bank holding status in order to become eligible for federal financial bailout status.
If there is a company that is the face of the recent subprime mortgage fiasco, it is Countrywide and its CEO Angelo Mozilo. On July 1, 2008 Bank of America announced that it completed a full takeover of Countrywide after receiving approval from the Federal Reserve's Board of Directors on June 5. On October 16, 2008, Countrywide announced it would delist its stock.