Last week, in the Opinion Pages fo the New York Times, a rather well-known cloumnist, Jack Klugman, shared some information with the paper's audience
regarding our national effort to contend with the economic gatekeepers and their ilk.....
His piece, entitled "Wall Street Whitewash
" appeared in the December 16, 2010 web-pages at
The author not-so-gently called our attention to our apparent naivette in expecting our appointed public servants' drive and diligence to meet the
challenge of facing the single greatest powers on Earth..... the players in the world of high finance. While his erudite rant appears to align itself
with the dogma of partisan blame, the facts he shares are very disconcerting.
Enter the "Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
", a body described by Mr. Klugman thusly;
The bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was established by law to “examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial
and economic crisis in the United States."
Now, for those of us inclined to be anal about research, you can digest their projected self-image at www.fcic.gov...
which you can visit
at your leisure. My interest was in the following...
(from the FCIC website)
The 10 members of the bi-partisan Commission, prominent private citizens with significant experience in banking, market regulation, taxation,
finance, economics, housing, and consumer protection, were appointed by Congress on July 15, 2009. The Chair, Phil Angelides, and Vice Chair, Bill
Thomas, were selected jointly by the House and Senate Majority and Minority Leadership.
The commission is comprised of:
, Commission Chairman
The apparently "Democrat-aligned' Phil Angelides served as California's State Treasurer. As early as 2002, he warned of excesses and abuses in the
nation's financial markets, mobilizing pension funds and investors to push for reforms, fight fraud, curb egregious executive compensation, and expand
shareholder and investor rights. He was a consistent voice against California's deficit spending and excessive borrowing. He put the weight of the
state's pension funds behind investment in clean energy and the fight against global warming
- seeding the "green tech" investment revolution.
During his tenure as Treasurer, Mr. Angelides served as a trustee for California's two major pension funds
Mr. Angelides, is a graduate of Harvard University
and a Coro Foundation
Fellow. He served from 1975 to 1983 in California government,
where he was a policy leader in affordable housing, urban planning, and public finance. Afterwards he entered the private sector in 1984 and, in 1986,
formed his own real estate investment business
. Mr. Angelides is currently President of Riverview Capital Investments.
He was the Democratic nominee for Governor of California in 2006. He currently serves as the National Chairman of the Apollo Alliance
Hon. Bill Thomas
, Commission Vice Chairman
Republican Thomas, has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 28 years.
Mr. Thomas continues his examination of substantial economic issues in search of coalition-building solutions through his work as a visiting fellow at
the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
As former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Thomas was responsible for reforming Medicare legislation, nearly $2 trillion in tax
relief and reforms to the U.S. pension system
During his six years as chairman, Mr. Thomas helped the President attain trade promotion authority and guided seven free trade agreements through
. He also created an energy tax package aimed at strengthening the nation's existing energy infrastructure while promoting alternative
Prior to his election as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Thomas served as Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee where he
was instrumental in the passage of the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996,
" as well as the author of the "Medicare
Brooksley Born, Commissioner
Brooksley Born is a long-time Washington DC lawyer. She was the head of the firm's derivatives practice
and represented domestic and
international clients in legislative, litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters involving derivatives and financial markets
. She was
chair of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the federal government agency that oversees the futures and commodity option markets and
Ms. Born was president of the Stanford Law Review. She is a member of the Order of the Coif, and the District of Columbia Bar. She has served on the
Boards of Governors of the American Bar Association, the American Bar Foundation, and the District of Columbia Bar. At the ABA, she has chaired the
Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, the Consortium on Legal Services and the Public, and
the Council of the Fund for Justice and Education. She is recognized for her efforts as chair of the CFTC to urge that the over-the-counter
derivatives market should be subject to federal oversight and regulation. The failure to regulate that market is now seen to be a major cause of the
recent financial crisis.
Byron S. Georgiou
Apparently 'Democrat-aligned' Byron Georgiou is said to have spent most of the last decade investigating and prosecuting financial fraud.
He is currently President of Georgiou Enterprises
, with interests including partnerships in several private equity firms
; a portfolio of
carbon emission reduction projects in China that generate carbon credits under the Kyoto protocol
; environmental cleanup of deep coal
; residential and commercial real estate
Mr. Georgiou serves on the advisory board of the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance
Since 2000, Mr. Georgiou has been affiliated with the national law firm of Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, the world's largest plaintiffs'
, and has had a leadership role in the historic litigations prosecuting financial fraud on behalf of defrauded investors at
Enron, WorldCom, Dynegy, AOLTimeWarner, and UnitedHealth
In 1994, he co-founded and served as President of American Partners Capital Group
, concentrating on serving the needs of institutional
through capital formation programs in a variety of alternative asset categories.
Mr. Georgiou received his undergraduate degree with Great Distinction from Stanford University, attending on a full Alfred P. Sloan academic
scholarship, and his Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School
Senator Bob Graham
Democrat Senator Bob Graham is the former two-term governor of Florida. Senator Graham retired from public service in January 2005, following his
Presidential campaign in 2004.
Senator Graham led the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
- he advocated reform of the intelligence community and sponsored legislation to
bring about changes. In the fall of 2004 Senator Graham authored "Intelligence Matters" based upon his experiences gleaned during the joint inquiry
and his analysis of the run up to the Iraq war
After retiring from public life, Senator Graham served for a year as a senior fellow at the Harvard
Kennedy School of Government where he
lectured to undergraduate, graduate and executive management students.
Senator Graham is currently Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism
Graham serves as the Chair of the Board of Overseers of the Graham Center for Public Service
. This Center, with a home at the University
of Florida, commenced programs in the fall of 2007 in the areas of Public Service, Homeland Security
, and The Americas.
Keith Hennessey was the senior White House economic advisor to President George W. Bush
. Mr. Hennessey coordinated economic policy for the
President, including financial market issues, tax policy, energy and climate change, health care, Social Security and Medicare reform, housing,
technology and telecommunications, and agriculture. He now writes about American economic policy at www.KeithHennessey.com. Mr. Hennessey served as
Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy
and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council
. He was Assistant to the
President for Economic Policy
and Director of the National Economic Council.
In addition to advising the President on his Administration's response to the financial crisis of 2008, Mr. Hennessey helped design, enact, and
implement the President's most important economic policies
, including reforming the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
international economic issues such as several free trade agreements
Mr. Hennessey spent about eight years on Capitol Hill working as Economic Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
. He also
worked for Senator Pete Domenici on the staff of the Senate Budget Committee
, and on the staff of the 1994 Bipartisan Commission on
Entitlement and Tax Reform
Before coming to Washington in 1994, he spent two years developing software at Symantec Corporation
and two years at Harvard.
Apparently 'Republican-aligned' Douglas Holtz-Eakin is the President of DHE Consulting, LLC.
He was the Chief Economist of the President's Council of Economic Advisers
(CEA) for one year (2000-2001). At CEA he helped to formulate
policies addressing the 2000-2001 recession and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
He was later the 6th
Director of the Congressional Budget Office providing budgetary and policy analysis to the U.S. Congress, addressing the 2003 tax cuts
(JGTRRA), the Medicare prescription drug bill
(MMA), and Social Security reform
During 2007 and 2008 he was Director of Domestic and Economic Policy for the John McCain presidential campaign.
Dr. Holtz-Eakin has held positions in several Washington-based think tanks. The Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics
(2007-2008), and the Director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies
and the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International
Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations
(2006). He has also been a visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
, and American Family Business Foundation
Dr. Holtz-Eakin built an international reputation as a scholar doing research in areas of applied economic policy, econometric methods, and
entrepreneurship. He began his career at Columbia University in 1985 and moved to Syracuse University from 1990 to 2001. At Syracuse, he became
Trustee Professor of Economics at the Maxwell School, Chairman of the Department of Economics
and Associate Director of the Center for
Dr. Holtz-Eakin is on the Boards of the Tax Foundation and the National Economists Club
, and the Research Advisory Board of the Center for
Heather H. Murren
, CFA, Commissioner
Apparently, "Democrat-aligned" Heather H. Murren, CFA, was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Her supplied bio forcefully emphasizes her non-profit healtch-care organizations' successes in which she remains active. Her history includes being
managing director at Global Securities Research and Economics
, of Merrill Lynch
where she was said to be a highly ranked analyst. The
industry lauded her repeatedly with many awards for her accuracy in financial forecasting. As an alumnus of Johns Hopkins University
served as a member of the Board of Trustees.
She has served in the past as a member of the board of directors for Mannkind, a biopharmaceutical company
, and Service First Bank of
. She is married to James Murren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MGM.
OP NOTE: Why is her husband
relevant in this matter?
John W. Thompson
Apparently "Republican-aligned," John W. Thompson is chairman of the board
of directors of Symantec Corporation
. He also was appointed
by George W. Bush
to make security recommendations as part of the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee
. He is a board member of
"Teach for America" and also served as chairman of the Board of the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security and Technology.
He is a director on the Board of UPS
and Seagate Technology
Peter J. Wallison
Apparently "Republican-aligned" Harvard-educated Peter Wallison chairs Financial Policy Studies at and co-directs the American Enterprise
(AEI)'s program. Prior to joining AEI, he was a banker, and a lawyer.
He was General Counsel of the United States Treasury Department
, where he had a significant role in the development of the Reagan
Administration's proposals for deregulation in the financial services industry.
These were the policies which George W. Bush referred to as
and later became identified as offshoots of "Trickle-Down" or "Supply-Side" - Keynesian Economics
theoretically, as the rich become richer, the 'less rich' get access to more money.
He served as "Special Assistant" to then New York's Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller
and, subsequently, as counsel to Mr. Rockefeller during his term
as Vice President of the United States.
He has authored many books. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. And is a
member of the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee, the Council on Foreign Relations
, the SEC Advisory Committee on Improvements to
Financial Reporting (2008), and co-Chair of the Pew Financial Reform Task Force
OP NOTE: All empahsis mine,
Krugman reports that the the commission has broken down along partisan lines, unable to agree on even the most basic points.
From the times
It’s not as if the story of the crisis is particularly obscure. First, there was a widely spread housing bubble, not just in the United States,
but in Ireland, Spain, and other countries as well. This bubble was inflated by irresponsible lending, made possible both by bank deregulation and the
failure to extend regulation to “shadow banks,” which weren’t covered by traditional regulation but nonetheless engaged in banking activities
and created bank-type risks.
Then the bubble burst, with hugely disruptive consequences. It turned out that Wall Street had created a web of interconnection nobody understood, so
that the failure of Lehman Brothers, a medium-size investment bank, could threaten to take down the whole world financial system.
It’s a straightforward story, but a story that the Republican members of the commission don’t want told. Literally.
Mr. Klugman blames the "Republicans" although the bi-partisan nature of this commission seems to betray that sentiment.... Amazingly;
Last week, reports Shahien Nasiripour of The Huffington Post, all four Republicans on the commission voted to exclude the following terms from the
report: “deregulation,” “shadow banking,” “interconnection,” and, yes, “Wall Street.”
Imagine that, telling the tale of our triumphant entry into the 21st Century by cleansing the record of any potential indications as to what caused us
to stumble drunkenly into the new millenium.
Whats more shameful is that the so-called Republicans issued a report despite the non-bi-partisan consensus, actually managing to create a 9-page
"report" wihtout ever crossing their threshhold of sensitivity to the words ... the most important of which is clearly.... "interconnection". In the
published report (how does that happen?) they pretty much allege that lenders were as much victims as debtors... it was all the governments fault.
Mr. Klugman's political predilections is unhidden, to his credit, citing the reality of the international nature of hte housing bubble, and the
duplicitous means used to execute a financial battleplan (which in my opinion was designed to gut punch the economy and justify stronger monetary
controls by supranational banking cartels.)
Our NY Times Op Ed columnists shares this intersting tid-bit:
Last week, Spencer Bachus, the incoming G.O.P. chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told The Birmingham News that “in Washington,
the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”
Check that out "Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks"
Mr. Klugman closes with what is perhaps a rare gem of jounalistic style....
In the end, those of us who expected the crisis to provide a teachable moment were right, but not in the way we expected. Never mind relearning
the case for bank regulation; what we learned, instead, is what happens when an ideology backed by vast wealth and immense power confronts
inconvenient facts. And the answer is, the facts lose.
"The facts lose." Ain't that the truth...or is it?.... ironic no?
I had to add to Mr. Klugman's the facts about the commission members... and the non-partisan aspects which tie them together..... did you
Harvard, CFR, AEI, Florida, Stanford, PEW, "Board members," Capital investors lawyers, bankers, real estate, 'free trade', 'green energy' 'carbon
credits'.... those are a few of their favorite things......
Merry Season, Happy time lapse.
edit on 20-12-2010 by Maxmars because: title fix