Tales from the Trail

from Summit Notebook:

Angelides: People make mistakes, take Alan Greenspan and Captain of Titanic

Phil Angelides, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission chairman, says he'd rather see some taking of responsibility than hear another "I'm sorry."

REGULATION-SUMMIT/"Personally I don't see my role as ... to obtain apologies. What I don't hear is a sense of responsibility and self-assessment about what occurred. There seems to be a disconnect between the practices that people undertook and the financial collapse," he said at the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit.

"I'm struck by the extent to which all fingers point away generally from the person testifying," Angelides said.

And it's not just Wall Street executives that he's talking about.

"When Alan Greenspan came in front of us he said he'd  been 70 percent right, 30 percent wrong. Well, you know, the captain of the Titanic was probably 99 percent right and one percent wrong. It's the enormity of the mistake that matters," he said.

(He is of course referring to the former chairman of the Federal Reserve who could do no wrong until the financial crisis hit, sinking his star along with the markets).

Republicans seek economic wisdom from Greenspan

Alan Greenspan may have retired as chairman of the Federal Reserve, but his insight is still in hot demand, so much so that Senate Republicans invited him to be their guest speaker at their weekly policy lunch.

FINANCIAL/Per his normal practice, Greenspan declined to tell reporters what he told the lawmakers behind closed doors, but that did not stop a few senators from spilling the beans.

New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg said the former Fed chief talked mostly about the need to address the long-term budget deficit, specifically the Medicare healthcare program for the elderly and those with disabilities. The U.S. deficit is expected to crest at more than $1.8 trillion in fiscal 2009 which ends Sept. 30.