Federal Reserve officials told lawmakers April 3, 2008, that assets purchased by the government to aid Bear Stearns were "investment grade." The assets included distressed mortgage-backed bonds, collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps that guaranteed high-yield, high-risk bonds. Lawmakers have since scrutinized the Fed officials and the asset purchases. "It is apparent that the Fed withheld from the Congress and the public material information about the condition of these securities," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.

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