House Lawmakers Subpoena Fed for BoA-Merrill Lynch Documents « The Washington Independent
On Thursday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is hosting former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis at a hearing to explore the genesis of Bank of America’s December purchase of the flailing Merrill Lynch. In anticipation of that gathering, Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), along with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who heads the domestic policy subcommittee, requested detailed information last week from both the Treasury and the Federal Reserve regarding their role in that merger.
It seems only one of those requests was honored.
On Tuesday, Towns and Kucinich — along with Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), the senior Republican on the oversight panel — announced that they’ve subpoenaed the Fed for its share of the information.
It’s just the latest in a string of controversies surrounding the merger. In April, reports emerged that Lewis claimed he was pressured by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to keep silent about Merrill’s decline at the end of 2008 — as well as $4 billion in bonuses Merrill intended to pay its employees — lest the news spook BofA shareholders and kill the acquisition deal. That deal, originally billed as a private transaction, eventually required $20 billion in federal funds to complete.
The House lawmakers want to know to what extent Lewis’ claims are true.