Over the last year and a half, Congressional committees and bipartisan panels like the Financial Crisis Inquiry Comission (FCIC) charged with investigating the root causes of the financial crisis have been grilling Wall Street CEOs, bankers, investors, regulators and credit raters on Capitol Hill.
The financial crisis hearings put some of the main players blamed for the meltdown in the hot seat to be poked and prodded. And while the televised haranguing of those who bundled, rated, sold, or failed to regulate toxic investments might give the American public some temporary relief, it's unclear whether the hearings can uncover findings that will engender the kind of change accomplished in the wake of the Pecora Commission's investigation of the Wall Street crash of 1929, upon which the FCIC is modeled. That change included legislative reforms like the Glass-Steagall Act and, according to Chair of Senate Subcommittee on Investigations Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), "put the cop back on the Wall Street beat."
Regardless of the long-term value of these hearings, they have produced some compelling moments and lively debate.
Here are 9 highlights and lowlights of the financial crisis hearings: