WASHINGTON (9/1/10)--“Too big to fail,” a Washington catch phrase, is also the topic of a two-day public hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), which starts today. The complete heading of the session is "Too Big to Fail: Expectations and Impact of Extraordinary Government Intervention and the Role of Systemic Risk in the Financial Crisis." The forum will be webcast live at http://www.FCIC.gov and is part of an ongoing investigation into the financial crisis. The commission, set up in mid-2009, was created to study fraud in the financial system and to determine the cause of the financial crisis. The commission can conduct hearings to examine industry practices, and subpoena regulators and financial institutions for information. Today’s session features two panels of witnesses. Expected to testify on panel one regarding Wachovia Corp. are:
* Scott G. Alvarez, general counsel, Federal Reserve Board; John H. Corston, acting deputy director, Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection, of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC); and Robert K. Steel, former president/CEO of Wachovia Corporation
And scheduled for panel two to testify about Lehman Bros. are:
* Thomas C. Baxter, Jr., general counsel and executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Richard S. Fuld Jr., former chairman/CEO of Lehman Bros.; Harvey R. Miller, business finance and restructuring partner for Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; and Barry L. Zubrow, chief risk officer for JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair are the sole witnesses on day two of the hearing, which is Thursday. The FCIC is charged with issuing a final report on the nation's financial crisis to the U.S. Congress by December 2010.