In a week filled largely with messaging efforts on the Hill, Wednesday morning's House Financial Services hearing - ostensibly about the newly created Financial Stability Oversight Council's efficacy over the last two years - drew plenty of onlookers as the scandal involving manipulation of the Libor continues to grow more than two weeks after the story broke.
Even disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the onetime "sheriff of Wall Street" who made his name as an outspoken critic of the financial sector, was on hand to observe Geithner's testimony. Spitzer, who now hosts a news show on Current TV, said beforehand that he was attending the packed hearing in his capacity as a news anchor, adding that he thought the big financial news headline of the day would be former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill's assertion on CNBC Wednesday morning that investment banking should be split from commercial banking.
Asked if he thought the Libor scandal could result in a Justice Department investigation, Spitzer demurred.
"I think the issue is going to be whether the regulators should have done more," Spitzer said. "I think it's premature to suggest anyone did anything criminal. The issue in my mind is do we once again have a storyline of regulatory lapses and the acceptance of impropriety."