'Humbled' Bank CEOs Will Deny Blowing Bailout

Top bankers face grilling today from furious Congress
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2009 2:12 AM CST
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill last week.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Bank bosses being grilled by Congress today will defend their use of bailout cash, according to prepared testimony obtained by Reuters. Chief executives from the eight biggest US banks arrive in Washington this morning—by public transportation instead of private jet this time—and are expected to strike a note of humility in the face of an angry House Financial Services Committee.

The execs will insist that the combined $165 billion in bailout money their institutions received was used for lending instead of paying for bonuses or lobbying. Many, however, will acknowledge that regulation of the industry needs serious reforms. Despite their contrite tone, analysts expect today will provide fine political theater as lawmakers visit the full fury of their constituents on the humbled bankers.