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Big Bankers vs. Congress: Classic Washington Theater On Tap

The chief executives of the first big eight banks that got federal bailout money testify before the House Financial Services committee beginning at 10 a.m. today.

It should be classic Washington political theater and one of the few ways lawmakers can hold businesses leaders accountable and slap them about a little in public, winning populist points with the voters back home.

You've seen the picture before. When gasoline prices spike, Big Oil execs get hauled before a congressional panel, and they look like this.

When Big Tobacco got hauled before Congress, it looked like this.

Big hedge fund executives? Yep, like this.

But today comes with a twist: All of the big bankers set to testify today have received billions in government money, so Congress has more power than they usually do over the executives arrayed before them.

According to the testimony the big bankers are set to deliver, they're not going to just sit there and take it.

And given some of the more pugnacious members of the Financial Services committee -- Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.), Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) -- it could make for some fireworks.

Check back here frequently today. The Ticker will be covering the hearing blow-by-blow then appearing on CBNC's "Street Signs" with Erin Burnett right after to give a post-op.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  February 11, 2009; 9:43 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Goldman Sachs, Ron Paul, bailout  
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