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Senator to look into Bear Stearns deal

WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- The top ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Charles Grassley of Iowa, has asked members of his staff to investigate the Bear Stearns buyout.

Grassley did not call for a hearing on the deal, but said Thursday that corporate executives should not profit in a federal buyout at the expense of shareholders and taxpayers, The Hill newspaper reported.

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On Sunday, the U.S. Federal Reserve backed J.P. Morgan Chase's fire sale purchase of investment bank Bear Stearns with an agreement to cover $30 billion of the bank's assets.

Had the Fed stepped not stepped in, Bear Stearns would have filed for bankruptcy, The Hill reported.

"My point is not that bankruptcy would've been the better course for Bear Stearns," Grassley said. "I'm looking at a slice of the consequences."

"The top executives shouldn't be treated better than anyone else when company goes under," he said.

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