New Pecora Commission to hold more hearings

This is a busy news week, so a number of important hearings may not get the attention they deserve. These new hearings include the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, that hosted its first hearings in January. The two days of hearings in mid-January were conducted before the commission even had its full staff in place. After some initial delay, the transcripts for those hearings have now been posted (Day 1, and Day 2.)[Warning: these are .pdf files]

One noteworthy member of the FCIC panel is Brooksley Born, the hero of the great Frontline show, The Warning, which was the subject of a recent Seminal diary. You can see the questions Brooksley Born asked, and the answers she got (hint: use “Born” as your search term), in the posted transcripts of the January hearings. Of course, you can also see the questions asked by other members of the panel, and form your own judgment about the acuity of the questioning.

Since then, the Commission has reiterated that it Will Use Subpoena Power If Needed(Feb. 2/17), and has questioned top bankers behind closed doors:

…since that first round of public hearings, the 10-member commission and its staff of 35 has worked quietly from offices on Pennsylvania Avenue, questioning key players behind closed doors as part of their ongoing investigation into the causes of the financial meltdown.

Democratic Chairman Phil Angelides and Republican Vice Chair Bill Thomas told The Daily Caller that they have met with most figures central to the bailout including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, as well as heads of the SEC in closed session, and intend to have many of them testify under oath in public. They’re also planning to meet privately with former government officials such as Hank Paulson and Alan Greenspan….

…The commission is in close contact with parallel investigations and discussions happening on Capitol Hill. The House Oversight Committee recently interrogated Geithner in a much-anticipated session ­ one that Republicans spent more than a year trying to secure. “We’re not going to let anyone run out the clock on us,” Angelides, who has been frank about his willingness to use his subpoena power if necessary, affirmed….

The FCIC has scheduled a new Forum to Explore the Causes of the Financial Crisis, on February 26-27:

(Washington, DC)
After hearing public testimony from leaders of both private and public
sector entities in January, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), the bi-partisan 10-member panel established by Congress to examine the causes of the crisis, … announced it will bring together experts who have researched the financial crisis for a forum in Washington, DC on February 26-27, 2010 at American University Washington College of Law.

This announcement includes the roster of panelists expected to attend.

An agenda for the new hearings has also been posted.

The hearings will be webcast. The announcements also mentioned experts that the committee has already interviewed, which list includes Joseph Stiglitz.

I look forward to following this new round of hearings.

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