Thursday, April 23, 2009

Buyer Beware

The Wall Street Journal:
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and then-Treasury Department chief Henry Paulson pressured Bank of America Corp. to not discuss its increasingly troubled plan to buy Merrill Lynch & Co. -- a deal that later triggered a government bailout of BofA -- according to testimony by Kenneth Lewis, the bank's chief executive. Mr. Lewis, testifying under oath before New York's attorney general in February, told prosecutors that he believed Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke were instructing him to keep silent about deepening financial difficulties at Merrill, the struggling brokerage giant...."Isn't that something that any shareholder at Bank of America...would want to know?" Mr. Lewis was asked by a representative of New York's attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, according to the transcript. "It wasn't up to me," Mr. Lewis said.
USA Today:
Americans need to sharpen their financial know-how to help them best use their money, especially during the current economic crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday. "As the global economy continues to experience extraordinary turbulence ... the need has never been greater for initiatives that help consumers learn to manage their money wisely," Bernanke said....Improving financial knowledge also can help protect people from scam artists, he said.