Ben Bernanke and Fed officials sharply criticised Bank of America and CEO Ken Lewis in emails, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
Ken Lewis, the chief executive of Bank of America, was reportedly trying to pull out of its deal to buy Merrill Lynch.
The emails obtained by the Wall Street Journal, probably from Congressman Edolphus Towns who subpoened them from the Fed, confirm that Bernanke was willing to threaten to remove Lewis from his position if he backed out of the deal.
- Ben Bernanke says that the threat to pull out is just a “bargaining chip.”
- Lawyers for the Fed called the Ken Lewis’ arguments “not credible” and said he “can be reckless.”
- A top bank examiner says Lewis’s position “seems somewhat suspect.”