Bernanke Says He Didn't Bully BofA To Buy Merrill

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress he didn't pressure Bank of America to stick with its acquisition of Merrill Lynch that ultimately cost taxpayers $20 billion.

In prepared testimony to a House committee investigating the matter, the Fed chief says he did not threaten action against Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis or the bank's board members if they decided to abandon the takeover after financial problems at Merrill were discovered.

Bernanke also says neither he nor any other member of the Fed ever urged Bank of America to keep quiet about Merrill Lynch's financial problems. Not divulging that information would have violated Lewis' fiduciary duty to the bank's shareholders.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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