Financial Crisis Panel Poised To Grill Greenspan, Others

A bipartisan panel will try to pinpoint the causes of the financial meltdown.

ByABC News
April 6, 2010, 11:46 AM

April 6, 2010 -- The government's push to pinpoint the causes of the financial meltdown and prevent another crisis is expected to move forward this week when a bipartisan panel appointed by Congress will grill over a dozen high-profile officials, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a 10-person panel tasked with submitting a report on the meltdown to President Obama later this year, will kick off three straight days of hearings tomorrow morning in Washington when Greenspan testifies about subprime lending problems.

On Thursday the commission will hear from Citigroup's former CEO Chuck Prince and former board chairman -- and former Treasury Secretary -- Robert Rubin as part of an examination of the bailed-out bank's mistakes. In the week's final hearing on Friday the panel will summon a handful of officials from government-backed mortgage giant Fannie Mae including CEO Daniel Mudd. A slew of other officials will also testify over the course of the three days.

But the headliner is former Fed boss Greenspan, once regarded as a financial wizard but now blamed by some for the crisis. In recent weeks Greenspan has embarked on a bid to restore his tarnished reputation, but sources do not expect him to deliver any mea culpas during his opening remarks on Wednesday.

A source familiar with Greenspan's testimony told ABC News that in his prepared remarks it is unlikely that he will go beyond what he has already said in taking responsibility for his role in the meltdown. Greenspan's team even asked the panel to make a report he wrote for the Brookings Institution part of the public record for the hearing. In that report, Greenspan said the Fed "did little to address the problem" of the ballooning size of major financial firms and failed to realize the severity of the housing bubble.

In an interview with ABC News' Jake Tapper on "This Week," Greenspan said the financial world failed to put in place adequate protections for risk-taking gone wrong.