We heard testimony before the House Banking Committee in Washington today. The CEOs of eight large financial institutions are being raked over the coals by Congress. It was a scene which reminded me of the Pecora Hearings during the Great Depression. It was also one which is being repeated in London.
The Congressmen are ludicrously indignant — after all, Congress has been complicit in the state of affairs. One member of Congress asked the men (there are no women) to raise their hand to questions on several occassions like schoolboys in a classroom — questions akin to “when did you stop beating your wife.”
I see these proceedings as more show trial to reassure the public than anything substantive. Nevertheless, they are entertaining. Below are videos of the opening statements from each of the CEOs. You might find their comments illuminating regarding their thinking now that the economy has collapsed and they have needed governement assistance.
You should also note that not all of these banks are in a precarious way. Some are better off than others.