Investigators find Feds threatened bank CEO

Congressional investigators say they have seen internal documents that prove the Federal Reserve threatened to force the ouster of Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis if he didn’t follow through with plans to buy Merrill Lynch & Co.

None of the documents reviewed by staff, however, showed that the government explicitly instructed Bank of America to hide Merrill Lynch’s losses from shareholders.

The House Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed the e-mails, notes and other records after claims that top government officials urged Lewis to go through with the acquisition and not disclose to shareholders the details of Merrill Lynch’s deteriorating financial state.

Lewis was scheduled to testify on Thursday before the panel.