Hearings Set For Wall Street Crisis
On an afternoon where the Dow Jones industrial average sank 440 points, the House oversight committee scheduled two days of hearings to look at a global financial crisis that has no end in sight. The committee has requested Richard Fuld, CEO of the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers investment bank, to testify. Three former CEO’s of AIG– Robert B. Wullamstad, Martin J. Sullivan and Maurice Greenberg were also summoned. The government gave AIG an $80 billion loan yesterday in exchange for 80 percent of the company. The AIG bailout hasn’t, though, deterred today’s turmoil on Wall Street.
The scheduled dates for hearings are odd: Oct. 6 and 7th, when Congress is in election season recess. A member of the oversight committee staff explained that the extraordinary circumstances of the financial crisis merit bringing committee members back for the special sessions.
Meanwhile, the House financial services committee is holding its own hearing next week, which, like the oversight committee, will ask how government regulators could have prevented the catastrophe.
So far the oversight committee has focused on one sliver of the mortgage crisis: the compensation packages of CEO’s for subprime lenders and investment banks. Will Congressional investigators have anything new to add about a crisis that has dominated the past week’s headlines?