Barney Frank lines up the bankers

The CEOs of the country's biggest banks come to Congress to explain themselves. They do not look too thrilled at the prospect.

By Andrew Leonard

Published February 11, 2009 3:20PM (EST)

"There is a great deal of anger in this country," Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said in his opening remarks at Wednesday morning's House Financial Services Committee hearing on TARP, accountability and banks. But Frank didn't look very upset -- quite the contrary, he seemed to be having a pretty good time. And why not, lined up in front of him were a murderer's row of CEOs of the nation's eight biggest banks. Could Barney Frank possibly have any more fun than a couple of hours in which to deliver a verbal horsewhipping to the likes of Citigroup's Vikram Pandit, Bank of America's Ken Lewis, Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein, and JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon?

The bankers, on the other hand, did not seem to be so pleased to be there.  Understandably -- in his opening remarks, arch-conservative Jeb Hensarling, R-Tx., said "I hope this will not be an opportunity for class warfare."

But that horse is out of the barn.

Pass the popcorn, and pull up the lawn chairs. We'll be here all morning.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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