U.S. financial crisis panel sets first hearings
WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) – A U.S. commission created by Congress to investigate the financial crisis has scheduled its first public hearings for Jan. 13 and 14, more than a year since the crisis shook banks and capital markets worldwide.
No witnesses were named by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in a statement distributed on Tuesday. It said the 10-member panel will hold hearings throughout 2010 — a period in which the Senate will be debating regulatory reforms.
Deliberations by the commission could spark interest in the debate in the Senate Banking Committee over reforms. The House of Representatives on Dec. 11 approved a comprehensive bill to tighten government bank and financial market oversight.
In September, inquiry commission Chairman Phil Angelides told Reuters that former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson might be among witnesses called to testify.
He said the panel had a short list of possible witnesses, including executives from Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, as well as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG.
Angelides is a Democrat and former California state treasurer. He said the panel would also look at credit rating agencies and regulators.
The commission is required to report its findings to Congress and President Barack Obama by Dec. 15, 2010.
(Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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