On Wall Street, Goldman Sachs is admired to a certain extent for its ability to generate profits. But the firm is also resented for a certain swagger.
Is Goldman Sachs a breeding ground for speculative booms and busts that have harmed America, as critics assert? Or does the work of Goldman Sachs create a vital foundation for economic growth? The Goldman Sachs-SEC case has reopened that longstanding debate.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearings have produced one moment of drama and a few theories from regulators and bankers about why the meltdown happened.
At the first hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission on Wednesday, top Wall Street executives acknowledge banks' role in the 2008 financial crisis but defend fat paychecks for employees.
They tried to reassure Congress and regain the trust of an angry public on Wednesday.
Some see the beginning of the end for huge compensation for financial titans. Others say the limits are too weak to bring real change.
With no investment banks and tighter regulation, experts see a less dynamic recovery ahead.
Evidence of stability includes easing US bond prices and bank moves to raise capital.