Revisionism Run Amok (FCIC)


Rewriting history to suit one’s own view of how you wish it was seems to be a national sport.

Three years ago this week, the financial system came unhinged. In rapid-fire succession, one major financial institution after another crumpled as years of recklessness on Wall Street and regulatory neglect in Washington took their toll. Before it was over, the federal government had committed trillions of dollars to bail out the nation’s largest banks and the economy was in tatters, with gnawing questions remaining about what went wrong and who was responsible.

Actually, that’s not correct.  The federal government didn’t have to bail out the nation’s largest banks.  We need a banking system to clear payments.  We don’t need the specific banks that committed the acts in question.

The unraveling had dire consequences. Twenty-four million Americans are unemployed or unable to find full-time work, with wages as a share of gross domestic product at the lowest level since the 1930s. Meanwhile, the banks barely skipped a beat, with compensation at publicly traded Wall Street firms reaching a record $135 billion in 2010.

The demand represented by the 30-year old credit bubble was not real.  Therefore, neither were the jobs.  Both were a chimera of actual prosperity. That’s an unfortunate fact that your commission did not examine, but should have.

To date, we have seen few criminal prosecutions and too many civil enforcement cases settled for pennies on the dollar with no admission of wrongdoing. Yet, buttressed by the investigations of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and various enforcement agencies, there is now a rising tide of legal actions seeking redress from banks that acted improperly. Some of the cases are beginning to lap up onto Wall Street’s doorstep.

Really?  Exactly how many criminal referrals did the FCIC make Phil?  I think that number is “zero”, despite at least one very-pointed admission, under oath, that a large bank was selling loans knowing they did not meet their published criteria. 

What’s the word for that activity again Phil?

It’s critical that the banks not be given an unlimited pass for past transgressions – to ensure that the truth of what happened to our country is revealed and justice is not short-circuited by financial power.

Again, Phil, exactly how many criminal referrals did the FCIC make?

Oh, and would you compare and contrast that against the body that investigated the S&L crisis, where Bill Black was one of the prominent individuals leading that charge, and explain why his body managed to put forward thousands of referrals and garnered somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 felony convictions.

The American people thank you in advance for your (cough) candor.

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