WASHINGTON - The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans to hold five hearings this month to examine the "regulatory mistakes and financial excesses" that led to the turmoil that has hit the financial markets in recent weeks and months.

Three hearings were announced yesterday by the committee: the role of hedge funds in the financial markets and their regulatory and tax status on Oct. 16, the failure of credit rating agencies' to foresee the problems that led to the financial crisis on Oct. 22, and the roles and responsibilities of federal regulators in the crisis on Oct. 23. These will be held in addition to hearings on the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, scheduled for Monday, and on the Federal Reserve Board's $85 billion bailout of American International Group Inc., planned for Tuesday.

"This financial crisis has shaken the global economy," committee chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said in a statement. "Congress cannot wait until a new administration arrives in January to examine what went wrong and who should be held accountable."

On Oct. 16, the committee will hear from five hedge fund managers who earned more than $1 billion last year, according to a release.

Witnesses at the Oct. 22 will include Deven Sharma, president of Standard & Poor's, Raymond W. McDaniel, chairman and chief executive officer of Moody's Corp., and Stephen Joynt, president and CEO of Fitch Ratings.

At the Oct. 23 hearing, witnesses will include former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, former Treasury Secretary John Snow, and Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox.

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