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Financial sector 'caused a lot of damage,' banker tells crisis panel

What bankers told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearing in Washington Wednesday:

"Whatever we did, it didn't work out well. We were going to bed every night with more risk than any responsible manager would want to have." Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group

"These are professional investors who want this exposure [to subprime derivatives] Even today people are coming to us for exposure to these very instruments." Blankfein

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Watch videos:

  • Part one: Lloyd Blankfein gets grilled
  • Part two: JP Morgan's Dimon gets grilled
  • Part three: Live from the financial crisis inquiry
  • Part four: Goldman Sachs' Blankfein's testimony continues

"We believe that the government action was critical and we benefited from it. The system clearly needs to be structured so that private capital, rather than government capital, is used to stabilize troubled firms promptly before a crisis metastasizes." Blankfein

"We understand the anger felt by many citizens. We are grateful for the taxpayer assistance we have received." Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer of Bank of America

"We did make mistakes and there were things we could have done better." Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase

"Many firms were too highly leveraged, took on too much risk and did not have sufficient resources to manage those risks effectively in a rapidly changing environment. The financial crisis has also made it clear that regulators simply didn't have the visibility, tools or authority to protect the stability of the financial system as a whole." John Mack, chairman of Morgan Stanley

"Making recapitalization automatic if capital levels fall below a public threshold would minimize systemic risk and force shareholders and bondholders to bear the burden of the firm's mistakes, not taxpayers or the economy." Blankfein

"A regulator should be able to terminate management and boards and liquidate assets. here is much that can be learned from the process by which the FDIC closes banks today." Dimon

"Those arguing for a return of Glass-Steagall are effectively arguing that Bear Stearns was a more stable entity than JPMorgan Chase. I don't see how that is tenable." Moynihan

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"Over the course of this crisis, we as an industry caused a lot of damage." Moynihan

"In retrospect, many firms were too highly leveraged, took on too much risk and did not have sufficient resources to manage those risks effectively in a rapidly changing environment." Mack

"The solution is not to cap the size of financial firms . We need a regulatory system that provides for even the biggest banks to be allowed to fail, but in a way that does not put taxpayers or the broader economy at risk." Dimon

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