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In today's Bernanke hearings on the BofA/Merrill deal, was there a smoking gun or cover-up?

The Kudlow Caucus
The Kudlow Caucus

We asked our panel:

In today's Bernanke hearings on the BofA/Merrill deal, was there a smoking gun or cover-up?

Yes -- 2
No -- 10

Watch "The Kudlow Report" tonight, Wednesday, July 25th at 7pm ET and find out what out caucus members have to say about Bernanke hearings.



The Kudlow Caucus Breakdown

No
Jerry BowyerChief Economist, Benchmark Financial Network
No and No. No carbon emissions from the gun and therefore no need for caps. Congress shooting at wrong target. Should have Fed bubble machine and uber-regulator in the cross-hairs. Instead they're obsessed with whether Bernanke sent right memos to right people while the world was collapsing. Nevertheless Bernanke is toast.

No
Keith BoykinFmr. Clinton White House Aide / The Daily Voice Editor
There is no big scandal here. The New York Times reported today that the GOP has launched an effort to vilify Ben Bernanke. This is all about politics.

No
Vince FarrellScotsman Capital Management
This absurd show is a wonderful example as to why people won't go into government service. Bernanke is a national treasure even if you were to disagree with his actions. He stood up and made significant decisions under extreme pressure. To be attacked and accused of lying is a disgrace. The Representatives of our government are an example of yet another use for duct tape.

No
Doug KassPresidnt, Seabreeze Partners Management
As to date, there is still no clear answer.

No
Jim LaCampPortfolio Manager, Portfolio Focus, RBC Wealth Management
Co-Host, Opening Bell Radio Show, Biz Radio Network
The testimony, by itself does not prove a cover up or deliver a smoking gun. However, this whole mess has smoke all over it and has devolved into a "he said-she said" atmosphere, full of recriminations, devoid of credibility.

No
Joseph LavorgnaFmr. Reagan Economic Advisor
Chief Investment Officer, Laffer Investments
I take the Fed chairman at his word. The financial sitaution was precarious at the time and is easy to look back now and criticize policymakers.

No
Donald L. Luskin Chief Investment Officer, Trend Macrolytics LLC
Absolutely, emphatically not. It is the nature of any regulator to exercise power over whomever it regulates – and that’s all the Fed has done here. If you don’t like regulation – and I certainly don’t like it – then just say so. But to fault the Fed for using its regulatory power, at the same time as the Fed is constantly criticized for not having done enough to regulate irresponsible banks, is pure hypocrisy.

Yes
Steve MooreSr. Economics Writer, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
Ben Bernanke was completely evasive and didn't answer any of the questions on B of A in a way that shuts down suspicions.

No
James Pethokoukis
Sr. Writer, U.S. News & World Report (Money & Business)
If there had been a smoking gun, it would have been a transcript of a chat between Ben Bernanke and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker. It was that chat that led to a terse conversation between Lacker and Ken Lewis, that Lewis interpreted as a threat. Bernanke said there was no intent to threaten. Bernanke took a narrow, legalistic interpretation of his words. But the hearing does show the risks of having your banker also be your super-regulator. Lots of politicization.

Yes
Robert Reich
Former Labor Secretary
Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
We’re not getting at the truth. The Fed has become the most anti-democratic institution in our government.

No
Noam Scheiber
The New Republic
I believe that there was a mutual desire by both Government and BofA to complete the acquisition despite the environmental crisis and losses.

I also suspect there was much horse trading by both sides leveraging their positions with taxpayer money as both ante and bargaining chip.

No surprise that we continue to see finger pointing with no one willing to step up and take responsibility for behaviors. .

No
Lynn Tilton
CEO, Patriarch Partners
I believe that there was a mutual desire by both Government and BofA to complete the acquisition despite the environmental crisis and losses.

I also suspect there was much horse trading by both sides leveraging their positions with taxpayer money as both ante and bargaining chip.

No surprise that we continue to see finger pointing with no one willing to step up and take responsibility for behaviors. .

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