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Bernanke Denies Threatening BofA Boss Over Merrill

He battles accusations that he strongarmed he company
By A Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2009 11:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – On Capitol Hill today, Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke denied he threatened the job of Bank of America’s CEO when Ken Lewis hesitated on the Merrill Lynch merger last fall, CNNMoney reports. “I did not tell Bank of America’s management that the Federal Reserve would take action against the board or management,” Bernanke said, responding to Lewis’ earlier allegations that Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson did just that.

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The top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wasn’t buying it. “I for one personally doubt that all of these can be explained away,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, who yesterday accused the Fed of a “cover-up” on the deal in which Bank of America acquired debt-laden Merrill. (Read more Ben Bernanke stories.)

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