WASHINGTON — When Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week, it was the fifth time the panel had convened this year to probe Bank of America Corp.'s problem-riddled deal for Merrill Lynch & Co.

By contrast, the committee has held just one hearing this year on the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or Tarp, and three hearings related to the near-collapse of insurance giant American International Group Inc., which has benefited from more than $100 billion in taxpayer support.

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