Washington – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered a broad, swift investigation of Wall Street and will demand testimony from Bush administration officials and captains of finance, congressional officials said.
House Democrats plan an aggressive look at the administration’s role in this weekend’s meltdown, and explore further regulation and government structures that would be taken up under the new president.
Republican aides accused Democrats of trying to shift blame with a series of “show trials,” but acknowledged that key officials will wind up cooperating.
The hearings will take place over the next few weeks, the officials said. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who regularly appears on Capitol Hill, will be called to testify as part of the investigation.
As the main event, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House oversight committee, wrote to Richard Fuld, chief executive of the imploded Lehman Brothers, to ask him to appear on Capitol Hill on Sept. 25.
“The hearing will examine the regulatory mistakes and financial excesses that led to yesterday’s bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers,” Waxman wrote. “The Committee will also explore the impacts of the Lehman bankruptcy on financial markets and the United States economy.