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Waxman to Greenspan: Were You Wrong?

“Partially,” answered Alan Greenspan, the former oracle and maestro of the Federal Reserve between 1987-2006.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a great hearing yesterday on the role that the credit rating agencies played in the financial system’s meltdown. Today’s hearing on federal regulators on Wall Street has been more theater so far.

In a riveting exchange between Rep. Henry A. Waxman, (D-Calif.), chairman of the committee, and Greenspan, the former Fed chairman admitted that his anti-regulatory philosophy was flawed. In response to Waxman’s pointed questions, Greenspan said that his ideology had been correct for 40 years but that now he was in a “shocked state of disbelief that it has been proven wrong.”

During the testimony, Republicans on the committee, led by Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), put up a big sign reading “Nov. 20,” the day the committee will probe the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“What comes before Nov. 20?” Mica asked no one in particular.

“Nov. 19,” someone from the audience shouted out.

“No, I was talking about the election,” Mica said.

During the oversight committee’s financial hearings, Mica has consistently tried to shift blame for the crisis onto Fannie and Freddie. Mica, um, is not telling the truth.

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