What do lawmakers really know?

Manuel Quinones of Capital News Connection quizzed some Tennessee representatives about the financial crisis - well, about derivatives, anyway - and garnered some illuminating responses.

Democrat Rep. Lincoln Davis stays behind after class.
"It's a bad loan, it's a really bad loan. And it goes in with the bundling of other particular loans that are being made and should have never been a part of the portfolio of any bank."

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn avoids detention. Just.
"A byproduct that is going to come from these transactions as you break apart the different components and you put them back into the marketplace."

Republican Rep John Duncan gets a gold star for honesty, by saying he hadn't read enough to come up with a good on-the-spot definition.
"Not to my satisfaction or yours."

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, on the other hand, sounded as though he was trying to bluff his way out.
"What kind of derivative are you talking about? Maybe you can define that? We have stock derivatives, we have energy derivatives, we have a whole variety of derivatives."

Thank you Senator. Back to Appropriations and Budget with you.

About the author

Paddy Hirsch is a Senior Editor at Marketplace and the creator and host of the Marketplace Whiteboard. Follow Paddy on Twitter @paddyhirsch and on facebook at www.facebook.com/paddyhirsch101

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