Probe

Did Bushies Force BoA Merger?

As if Bush administration's legacy weren't enough under fire. Now D.C. Republicans are investigating whether Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch last year, at the end of Bush's final term, was tangled up in "improper behavior" by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke. Politico acquired a colorfully worded GOP briefing document that alleged "In December 2008, Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke put a gun to the head of Bank of America's CEO and Board of Directors in order to force through a merger with Merrill Lynch, even though Bank of America's CEO felt it was his duty to his shareholders to try his luck in the legal system and back out of the deal. They did so in the name of the financial system as a whole, without any transparency or consultation with the American people or Congress." E-mails between Bernanke and Lewis are under scrutiny; Lewis will partake in a hearing before the House COmmittee on Oversight and Government Reform on Thursday.