It’s become the Washington D.C. version of the “perp walk”: shamed and disgraced executives from the country’s biggest financial institutions and banks are paraded in front of a Congressional panel to answer for their bad deeds. Today’s opening testimony in front of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has seemingly little difference from previous grilling of CEO’s but when all is said and done this financial walk of shame might result in real changes. The FCIC is empowered to recommend legislative changes to Congress in the financial regulation structure, and it promises to get to the root causes of the country’s deep recession. Will this commission be another exercise in futile populist outrage or is real change possible?
Yves Smith, head of management consulting firm Aurora Advisors; author of the blog “Naked Capitalism” and the forthcoming book “Econned: How Unenlightened Self-Interest Undermined Democracy & Corrupted Capitalism”