He also pointed out the usual suspects: lack of supervision and regulation, the shadow banking system, sub-prime mortgage lending, credit-rating agencies failures, conflict of interest, wrong models being used, etc. All the dialogue quoted is Bernanke's except were another speaker is named:
Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Chairman of the Federal Reserve
November 17, 2009
***Confidential***. . . .
So now we come to this very intense period in September and October. As a scholar of the Great Depression, I honestly believe that September and October of 2008 was the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression. If you look at the firms that came under pressure in that period. . . only one . . . was not at serious risk of failure.  So out of maybe the 13 -- 13 of the most important financial institutions in the United States, 12 were at risk of failure within a period of a week or two. (page 24)
COMMISSIONER GEORGIOU: Back in last September, when you created -- you began to supervise Goldman Sachs as a single bank holding company at the Fed. Do you regard that as a temporary condition or a permanent one? And if temporary, you know, when would it end? If permanent, what steps are being taken to reduce the risk? How long will they have access to the Fed window and so forth, since it’s an institution that will be regarded as so large as to be required to be protected forever?
MR. BERNANKE: Okay, well, there’s several parts to that. So, first of all, under current law, Goldman Sachs is a bank holding company so under current law, the Fed is the umbrella supervisor of Goldman Sachs. Not under any special emergency provision, but under current law. And as long as they’re a bank holding company, as long as the law is not changed, we will do our best to be the umbrella supervisor of that company. And I have to say, given what’s out there, that we are the most qualified agency to supervise them. (page 35, 36)
You used the word “protection.” My view is that, going forward, that the firms that are systemically critical -- and Goldman Sachs is one of them -- should, on the one hand, receive tougher, more comprehensive oversight than other firms. Because not only are they -- not only do we need to protect them themselves, but because of the damage they would do to the broader system if they collapsed.
Moreover, tougher, more comprehensive oversight, including higher capital liquidity requirements and so on makes it less attractive to be big. And so only firms that have strong economic rationales to be big would therefore be big. And there would be an incentive to shrink if, in fact, you could escape some of this intrusive oversight.
The other part, though -- and, again, I just want to say this as strongly as possible -- the reform will be a failure if we could not contemplate the failure of Goldman Sachs. That is, there needs to be a system by which Goldman Sachs will go bankrupt and Goldman Sachs’ creditors could lose money. If we don’t have that, then we might as well treat them as a utility, because that’s what they are. (page 36, 37)
. . . .
MR. BERNANKE: I mean, how does Goldman Sachs look different today than it did ten, 15 years ago, and why?
CHAIR ANGELIDES: Okay.
MR. BERNANKE: And how did they manage the risks that –- the risks, liquidity issues, and so on -- how did that all change, and was it created by innovations of various kinds, was it a function of regulatory change, et cetera? What was happening to the regulatory framework over this period?
I would talk about the shadow banking system; I would talk about supervision. (page 49, 50)
MR. BERNANKE: So J.P. Morgan was never under pressure, to my knowledge. Goldman Sachs, I would say also protected themselves quite well on the whole. They had a lot of capital, a lot of liquidity. But being in the investment banking category rather than the commercial banking category, when that huge funding crisis hit alll the investment banks, even Goldman Sachs, we thought there was a real chance that they would go under. (page 71, 72)