Partisan Bickering Sinks Investigation Into Financial Crisis Panel's Controversial Conclusions

Thursday, July 14, 2011 06:24
Partisan Bickering Sinks Investigation Into Financial Crisis Panel's Controversial Conclusions

A hearing on "what went wrong" in last year's Congressional attempt to uncover the roots of the 2008 market crisis has been postponed amid new allegations of partisan agendas in play on the panel.

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Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, had originally scheduled the panel, "What Went Wrong at the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission," for yesterday, but took it off the calendar after Democratic rivals released a report hinting at Republican interference with the commission's fact-finding process.


Issa had originally claimed that Democrats on the 10-member commission were biased by their own conflicts of interest when they determined that everybody from the Fed to homeowners was to blame for the near-collapse of the credit markets.


However, archrival Elijah Cummings -- a Democrat from Maryland -- combed 400,000 documents to uncover notes from one Republican commissioner, Peter Wallison, reminding his peers of their priorities.


Apparently Wallison was more interested in making sure the commission avoided any conclusions that might "undermine" ongoing efforts to get rid of Dodd-Frank reform than he was about getting to the bottom of the mysteries surrounding the crash.


Here's how he explained it to Bloomberg:


"I was very disappointed that the other Republican commissioners were not going to support the position I was taking because I thought with a split among the Republicans, it would be less helpful than getting the Dodd-Frank Act repealed. Its as simple as that."


The commission ultimately delivered a split decision: a majority opinion led by Democrats with two separate Republican dissents.


The follow-up panel is postponed indefinitely.



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