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Bank of America misses congressional committee deadline

Bank of America has missed a deadline to handover documents to a Congressional committee regarding the bank's purchase of the troubled brokerage Merrill Lynch. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform gave Bank of America until noon today to turn over records that include all legal advice leading up to the bank's purchase of Merrill Lynch. The committee asked for materials that would shed light on what the bank did or did not tell shareholders about Merrill's mounting losses. After an initial request for these records in August, Bank of America provided hundreds of pages of documents. In a letter to the bank last week, Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns said the information Congress needed most wasn't in there. Instead, Towns says staff had to dig through a bunch of irrelevant records - like emails alerting bank employees to discounts at Wal-Mart and Target, and an announcement of an annual pecan sale. A Bank of America spokesman says a bank executive will meet with Congressman Towns tomorrow to discuss how the bank can meet the committee's needs without violating attorney client privileges. Towns says the committee will get the information it requested, whether it's through future hearings, a subpoena or both. The committee is scheduled to hold its fourth hearing on Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch next week. The hearing will focus on the extent of the SEC and FDIC's involvement in the deal.