congress watch

(to be renamed when i think of something)

Hearing today on Oversight of the EESA (Wall Street bailout) with representatives of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank and Goldman Sachs

November 13th, 2008 by selise

Three hearings today, all at the same time. Instead of watching Soros testify, I’m going to start with the Senate Banking hearing on Oversight of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act: Examining Financial Institution Use of Funding Under the Capital Purchase Program (see below).

When the EESA (aka the Wall Street bailout) was passed, I complained that oversight is not accountability. So far it looks like I was wrong – oversight is not even oversight. Today’s hearing with representatives of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank and Goldman Sachs could be interesting.

From today’s Boston Globe: Despite rules and vows, oversight lax on bailout

WASHINGTON – In the six weeks since lawmakers approved the Treasury’s massive bailout of financial firms, the government has poured money into the country’s largest banks, recruited smaller banks into the program, and repeatedly widened its scope to cover yet other types of businesses, from insurers to consumer lenders.

Along the way, the Bush administration has committed $290 billion of the $700 billion rescue package.

Yet for all this activity, no formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste. Nor has the first monitoring report required by lawmakers been completed, though the initial deadline has passed.

"It’s a mess," said Eric Thorson, the Treasury Department’s inspector general, who has been trying to oversee the bailout until the newly created position of special inspector general is filled. "I don’t think anyone understands right now how we’re going to do proper oversight of this thing."

Legislators in Congress have expressed concern banks aren’t using cash from the bailout program to revive credit. Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd today holds a hearing with four large US banks on their use of the funds. House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank said on Oct. 31 that using cash for nonlending violates the law.

Today, at 10 am, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on Hedge Funds and the Financial Market

Live coverage at CSPAN-3 and the committee website.

The hearing will examine systemic risks to the financial markets posed by hedge funds and proposals for regulatory and tax reforms.


  • John Alfred Paulson, President, Paulson & Co., Inc.
  • George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management, LLC
  • James Simons, President, Renaissance Technologies, LLC
  • Philip A. Falcone, Senior Managing Partner, Harbinger Capital Partners
  • Kenneth C. Griffin, Chief Executive Officer and President, Citadel Investment Group, LLC
  • Professor Andrew Lo, Director, MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management
  • Professor David Ruder, Northwestern University School of Law, Former Chairman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Professor Joseph Bankman, Stanford University Law School
  • Houman Shadab, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University

Also today:

At 10 am, the Senate Committee on Banking, House, and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing on Oversight of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act: Examining Financial Institution Use of Funding Under the Capital Purchase Program.

Live coverage at CSPAN and the committee website.


  • Anne Finucane, Global Corporate Affairs Executive, Bank of America
  • Barry L. Zubrow, Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer, JPMorgan Chase
  • Jon Campbell, Executive Vice President, Chief Executive Officer of the Minnesota Region, Wells Fargo Bank
  • Gregory Palm, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc
  • Martin Eakes, Chief Executive Officer, Self-Help Credit Union and the Center for Responsibe Lending
  • Nancy M. Zirkin, Director of Public Policy, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
  • Dr. Susan M. Wachter, Worley Professor of Financial Management, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

At 10 am, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on Treatments for an Ailing Economy: Protecting Health Care Coverage and Investing in Biomedical Research.

Live coverage at the committee website.

panel 1:

  • Janet Napolitano, Governor, Arizona
  • Raymond E. Pinard, President and CEO, 48Hour Print
  • Gene Sperling, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress Action Fund
  • Alan D. Viad, Ph.D., Resident Scholar, AEI
  • Craid Zolotrow, Medicaid Beneficiary

panel 2:

  • Raynard S. Kington, M.D., PH.D., Acting Director, NIH
  • Rachel King, CEO, GlycoMimetics, Inc.
  • Ronald F. Pollack, Executive Director, Families USA
  • Joachim Kohn, Ph.D., Director, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials and Prof, Rutgers

x-posted at oxdown

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