April 23, 2009 / 9:47 PM / 10 years ago

Paulson's words to B of A were his own-spokesman

WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - Then-U.S. Secretary Henry Paulson was delivering his own message, and not the Federal Reserve’s, when he told Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis that the bank was in a binding merger contract with Merrill Lynch and Co., a spokesman for Paulson said on Thursday.

“Secretary Paulson’s words were his own,” the spokesman said. “(Fed) Chairman (Ben) Bernanke did not instruct him to indicate any specific action the Fed might take,” a spokesman for Paulson said in a statement.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday that Lewis was pressured by Paulson and Bernanke to go through with Bank of America’s planned merger with Merrill Lynch.

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