Lawmaker mistakes Bernanke for Paulson at hearing

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:56pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur came to a House committee hearing on Thursday prepared to ask U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson tough questions about his involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis.

Unfortunately, she was questioning the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The Ohio Democrat, at a House of Representatives Budget Committee hearing, said she wanted to know what Wall Street firms were responsible for the securitization of subprime mortgages.

She then asked: "Seeing as how you were the former CEO of Goldman Sachs ..." But the only person testifying at the hearing interrupted.

"No, no, no, you're confusing me with the Treasury Secretary," said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

"I've got the wrong firm? Paulson, Oh, OK. Where were you sir?" Kaptur said.

Bernanke noted that he was head of the Princeton University economics department.

"Oh, Princeton, oh, all right, sorry. I got you confused with the other one ... I'm glad you clarified that for the record," she said.

Paulson was chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs before Bush tapped him to head the U.S. Treasury Department.

(Reporting by Neil Stempleman; editing by Gary Crosse)

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