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Congress Presses for Details From Bank of America on Talks

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For months, Bank of America has been trying to keep secret its legal conversations at the end of last year about its coming merger with Merrill Lynch. So far, it has succeeded, mainly by arguing that those conversations should remain confidential because they are protected by attorney-client privilege. But now, the Times explains how the bank is facing questions from a House panel, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, whose chairman, Representative Edolphus Towns, has told the bank that it cannot use attorney-client privilege when dealing with Congress. While the S.E.C. is focused on whether the bank’s shareholders were wronged by the bank’s actions, Mr. Towns’s committee also has an eye on the $20 billion in additional taxpayer money that was given to the bank just after the merger. His office interviewed Joe Price, the bank’s chief financial officer, last month and may ultimately publicize its findings in a report.
SOURCE:   New York Times