Greenspan and Cox. We have it on good authority Big G will be showing up wearing the accessory at left. Stay tuned.
10:11: Rep. Mica and Waxman bitching at each other. Waxman talks over him.
Mica: "This hearing is being hijacked."
Objectively speaking, Waxman seems like a total dick.
10:13: Greenspan looks a little scared but hopefully that's just a fake out for his opening line, "This never would've happened if I were still King."
10:15: Greenspan announces that he plans on "running over an extra few minutes."
10:16: "We are in a once in a lifetime tsunami."
"I raised concerns in 2005. The crisis has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have expected."
"We need to stabilize home prices." Then, we thaw. Everything will be as it should, and I will come out of retirement to take over for Gilligan, who's proven he can't be trusted.
"To avoid retrenchment, we need the substitution of sovereign credit for private credit."
Something about Black-Scholes not being dead.
10:24: When we get out of this, "investors will be chastened."
10:25: "The SEC is different than the Fed....the SEC sets the rules...the SEC is a law enforcement agency."
For those of you keeping score: market rallies lightly when Greenspan testifies, sinks when Cox grabs the mic. Big Poppa's still got it.
10:30: The SEC is using its new authority "to strengthen the ratings process."
The former Treasury Secretary is glad to finally see that people get this shit is serious.
"I tried to keep my eye on risks when I was working in Washington."
"I gave countless speeches."
"I held meetings."
"I called for:
- A strong regulator
- A regulator who could limit the lines of business they get into
- A regulator who would have authority over capital standards
- A lovely cheese pizza, just for me"
Market rallies slightly with Snowball
Waxman takes 5 minutes to say that Greenspan wanted less regulation. "My question is, were you wrong?"
AG: Partially...it's important to distinguish the size of this problem and its nature.
Waxy: Okay, where were you wrong then?
AG: I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organizations, mostly banks, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders.
Market rallies when Greenspan admits he might have been sort of (but not really) wrong.
Waxy: Paul Krugman has basically blamed you for everything. Thoughts?
AG: Let me give you a little bit of history. [Big Poppa- that's me- has never been wrong. Not once, not twice, not ever. I don't now what some little shit at the Times has been writing, and frankly, I don't care. I stopped reading my press probably 20 years ago.]
AG and Waxy debate the definition of 'ideology.'
Waxman, for like, the 3rd time in the last ten minutes, brings up the fact that they need to move on because they're pressed for time. Not taking sides here, but what the fuck? You don't invite a man who strives to take 90 minutes to say what a normal person would get through in two and then ask him to speed things up. Let him cut into Man-Boy's time.
A call for new, hackneyed analogies, please. 10:55: Rep. Davis to Cox: You basically legalized gambling.
John Snow pops in: "it seems to me that the problem here is risk." Apparently the people participating in this here crisis were like "blind men touching an elephant."
11:02: Jesus christ this is lame. Leave it to the Hill to make an appearance with the Preacher boring. I only hope that they've got Rep. Rosa DeLauro chewing on a piece of leather in a side room, getting ready to unleash the Crazy. And that they bring up IMs between Fed personnel.
11:04:Senator Feinstein is a long-time "friend" of AG. Finally, we're getting somewhere.
11:12Rep. Mica: It's a shame that this hearing has been hijacked and we won't find out who the real culprits are until November 20th.. Then, I shit you not, tapes a sheet of paper that says "NOVEMBER 20" in front of his microphone.
"Okay, the three of you: who's the biggest subprime producer in the United States? WHO?!"
"Did the three of you know people were getting preferential loans from his Master of Orange?"
"I bet you're thinking Dodd. No. OBAMA."
11:15: Mica, whose voice is starting to crack, demands to know if "you three" think people should go to jail for this. Preacha won't answer, Cox says the SEC is working on it.
11:19: The troika agrees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "played a role in the problem."
11:20: Mica asks, "Did you know Fannie Mae was cooking the books so they could get bonuses in tens of millions of dollars? Did you know that? Did you know that Mr. Snow" [points to Snowball]. "Did you know that they were cooking the books? Did you know that?" I'm no political strategist but Mica needs to get a hold of himself. His voice is shaking and he seriously sounds like he's about to start crying. Which, actually, would be awesome and liven this shit up a bit, so I withdraw my advice.
11:21: Score one for Mica-- first instance of "LAY-MEN" today.
11:24: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who I love, brings up the fact that McCain said if he were prez, he'd fire Cox. Awk. Asks why he dragged his ass on this thing.
Cox: Well...the problem has grown...also, we don't have the authority to regulate credit default swaps...so...
Cummings: What happened to the risk task force? WHAT?
Cox: [paraphrasing] Nothing, it's still winning it
Cummings: We have been told by your staff that you failed to support the task force. What do you say to that?
11:33: Re: punishing the perps of this disaster, Greenspan feels "the markets have already punished them. Have you seen the ass raping that hedge fund in Chicago's been taking? That's worse than any prison fantasy I could ever cook up, and you know I'm a sick fuck."
11:35 Elfin' Rep Dennis Kucinich: "You've acquitted yourself as a spectator, but not as a participant, Mr. Greenspan." Then reads a speech made by the Doc about how the housing market was a-okay.
Greenspan says that he showed up at a dinner of "1,000 people" a week later saying he was wrong about the housing market crap, which has got to count for something.
Kucinich: "Um, but at said dinner, you said 'I'd reproduce that speech word-for-word today.' "
Greenspan stresses that he's always said the 30 year mortgage was the best, and the ARM is for suckas.
Kucinich to the woman next to him: "He hasn't addressed the question."
Two minute staring contest between AG and DK.
11:46: John Snow feels the need to add again that "the problem here is risk."
11:48:Greenspan: "I just want to say, we observe failure of regulation all the time. It's all based on forecasting, it's never going to be accurate."
11:56: This whole thing is devolved into a circle jerk. Rep. Tom Davis: "Everyone is responsible. You, us, New York."
11:58: Cox feels comfortable saying that there's room for improvement.
12:12: Rep. Bilbray: "So basically this is like the 9/11 Commission?"
Greenspan: "I'm not going to respond to that."
12:13: Rep John Yarmuth (D-KY): "With all apologies to my NE colleagues I feel like I'm looking at 3 Bill Buckners (sp?) who let the ball go through his legs and costs his team the championship. All of you let the ball go through your legs; you didn't want to let the ball go through your legs but it got through your legs. It's important to find out why it went through your legs. There's something fundamentally wrong with the way you three played the ball."