Wednesday, August 12

A moment later, after some reflection, he added, “But it also sounds an awful lot like what happens in a banana republic or in Putin’s Russia, when the captains of industry did favors for the government in exchange for economic subsidies. How do you stop from going down the slippery slope and becoming like Putin’s Russia?”  

The most important questions arising from the Bank of America–Merrill Lynch merger do not involve Ken Lewis. They involve Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and the U.S. government.

  In an interview with Andrew Cuomo, Paulson “largely corroborated” Lewis’s rendition of the events of December 2008, Cuomo wrote in an April 23 letter to federal officials. “Secretary Paulson indicated that he told Lewis that if Bank of America were to back out of the Merrill Lynch deal, the government either could or would remove the Board and management.”