Will bank CEOs divulge in the hot seat?

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The CEOs of four big banks will tell the bi-partisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission what really happened to the financial system. The bankers have been preparing for the Washington meeting for weeks. We sent Marketplace's Alisa Roth to find out what people want to get from the commission.


Alisa Roth: The guys in the hot seat are a who's who of American banks: Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley's John Mack and B of A's new head, Brian Moynihan.

Gary Townsend used to work as a banking regulator. Now he's an investor. He'd like to call his former colleagues to task.

Gary Townsend: I would like to hear about why regulators were not more active on the bank side at restraining the mortgage markets, why they allowed that to get so out of control and unregulated.

That's something Patricia McCoy wants to know, too. She's wonders how we can be sure banks will constrain their risk in the future.

Patricia McCoy: Why do we have any faith that regulators will be able to ride herd on them effectively in the future if they don't?

Good question. But those six Democrats and four Republicans who make up the panel had better watch out. James Cox -- he teaches corporate and securities law at Duke -- would like to turn the table around.

James Cox: I'd like to have questions asked just exactly how Congress contributed to this crisis.

He says a lot of the trouble we've been in was because Congress didn't pay attention to things like subprime mortgages and warnings that there was a housing bubble.

Ladies and gentlemen of the commission, take note.

I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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