Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd will conduct congressional hearings next week into the crisis gripping Wall Street.
Dodd met with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as the administration crafts a plan to deal with the country’s financial meltdown. Speaking to reporters, Dodd says he has no illusions about the gravity of the crisis.
“I’ve been here 28 years, in the United States Senate. I’ve never been at a more sobering moment in my 28 years, with the language that was used, the careful language used by the financial leaders of this administration and the country.”
Dodd’s Senate Banking Committee plans to hear Tuesday from Paulson and others as it probes how the crisis is being handled. The Bush administration plans a systemic approach to buying up bad debt in order to stabilize the markets. But Dodd says he also wants to see the underlying housing crisis addressed.
“This problem began with the housing foreclosure issue. We cannot deal with the effects of this problem without dealing with the causes of it, and the causes still persist. So my hope is that this plan will not only allow us to deal with illiquid debt and obligations out there but also focus as well on bringing to a closure the foreclosure problems.”
There’s no clear idea yet how much the rescue efforts will cost – although Secretary Paulson says it will likely run into hundreds of billions of dollars.