Granted, nobody reads 576-page commission reports, but this newly released, two-year-in-the-making report by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission looks pretty good, based on the article about it in today’s NYT. The article states:
‘The commission that investigated the crisis casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors and risky bets on securities backed by the loans.
‘“The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done,” the panel wrote in the report’s conclusions, which were read by The New York Times. “If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”’
Right on. And with testimony from more than 700 witnesses to inform those conclusions, there ought to be some good detail within the report.
The above conclusions might seem obvious, but acknowledging the obvious is something that politicians are not good at. And predictably, the commission was split among party lines. The above excerpt is from the majority report. From the article:
‘Of the 10 commission members, the six appointed by Democrats endorsed the final report. Three Republican members have prepared a dissent focusing on a narrower set of causes; a fourth Republican, Peter J. Wallison, has his own dissent, calling policies to promote homeownership the major culprit. The panel was hobbled repeatedly by internal divisions and staff turnover.’
So much for feasible solutions. Even with a Democratic Congress, the financial reform bill we got last year was extremely watered down. Get ready for the next conflagration.