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Gray Start

Bernanke and Paulson arrived at the witness table at 9:35 a.m., wearing gray, as were almost all the committee members on the dais in Dirksen G-50, who wore similarly colorless expressions.

Only two splashes of color: Sen. Elizabeth Dole in a canary yellow jacket, striking a discordantly optimistic note. And a handful of Code Pink protesters, brandishing pink signs calling for the senators to "bail out U.S. troops" instead of Wall St.