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Congress Questions Bernanke, Paulson's Role In BoA Purchase Of Merrill Lynch

Well! This certainly should be an interesting summer: WASHINGTON – A House panel has subpoenaed documents that lawmakers say could shed new light

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Well! This certainly should be an interesting summer:

WASHINGTON – A House panel has subpoenaed documents that lawmakers say could shed new light on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's role in Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

The subpoena comes ahead of a hearing next week in which Bernanke is scheduled to testify.

Lawmakers have accused Bernanke and President Bush's treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, of pressuring Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis into the deal and urging him to keep quiet about Merrill's financial problems.

Not divulging that information would have violated Lewis' fiduciary duty to the bank's shareholders.

Lawmakers also have questioned whether Lewis threatened not to go through with the merger in order to squeeze money from the government.

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