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Fed Records Subpoenaed

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Fed Records Subpoenaed

U.S. House lawmakers filed a subpoena Tuesday to compel the Federal Reserve to turn over internal notes and emails detailing the central bank's role in encouraging Bank of America Corp. to complete its acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co.

A Fed spokesman said the Fed would comply with the request.

The documents requested include emails to and from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, as well as handwritten notes from meetings and conversations involving Mr. Bernanke, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Kenneth Lewis, then BofA's chairman and chief executive officer. In April, Mr. Lewis stepped down as chairman. He remains CEO.

Mr. Lewis is scheduled to appear Thursday before House lawmakers.

Mr. Lewis, in written testimony that was circulated on Capitol Hill, said proceeding with the acquisition "made sense for Bank of America and its shareholders, and made sense for the stability of markets."

"Even six months later, it is easy to forget just how close to the brink our system came," Mr. Lewis added in his prepared remarks. "I will never forget, and I believe those efforts will be well remembered long after any current controversy is forgotten."

For months, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office has been seeking access to Fed documents related to the Merrill takeover.

"We hope we will get the same level of cooperation and access to documents the Fed is giving to the House committee," said Benjamin Lawsky, special assistant to Mr. Cuomo.

Pandora's box? Or a big whitewash?

No doubt it will raise some interesting questions, especially if Ron Paul gets in on the action.

Edited by cashinmattress

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