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Bernanke defends Fed on Merrill deal

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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c5388664-6194-11de-9e03-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1


Ben Bernanke was on Thursday forced into an unusual public defence of his actions as a bank regulator amid accusations that he overstepped his authority during the frantic talks over Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch.


Armed with hundreds of pages of subpoenaed e-mails, the House of Representatives oversight committee asked the Federal Reserve chairman whether he and his staff had forced BofA to go through with the deal, hidden details from other regulators and threatened to fire Ken Lewis, chief executive of BofA, if he tried to pull out.


Mr Lewis has said he considered invoking a “material adverse change” – or Mac – clause to cancel the deal when he learnt of Merrill’s mounting losses.


Mr Bernanke said there had been no threat, but if BofA had pulled out and then needed a bail-out there should have been repercussions.


With his term as chairman up for renewal next year and a Treasury plan to give the Fed more power in a regulatory upheaval, Mr Bernanke’s success in persuading Congress that he acted properly is crucial.


frantic 《口語》 大急ぎの,大あわての

subpoena 〈人を〉召喚する,〈人に〉召喚状を発する

invoke 訴える

clause (条約・法律の)条項

repercussions (ある事件・行動などのかなり後まで残る)影響

upheaval 大変動,激変

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