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Paulson defends response to financial crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has said in written testimony that the Bush administration's response to the financial crisis late last year was "not perfect" but "saved this nation from great peril."

Paulson also defended his role in Bank of America Corp.'s decision to acquire Merrill Lynch, despite Merrill's troubled financial state. Paulson said the merger was in the best interest of the nation and the two firms and that remarks he made during discussions of the deal were "appropriate."

Some House lawmakers have accused Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of pressuring Bank of America officials to proceed with the merger despite mounting losses at Merrill Lynch that ultimately hurt Bank of America stockholders.


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