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Because the political appointees fighting for our way of life .... aren't

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posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 12:44 PM
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 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:

Phil Angelides, 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 Congress. He also created an energy tax package aimed at strengthening the nation's existing energy infrastructure while promoting alternative energy sources.

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 Preservation Act."


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 futures professionals.

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, Commissioner

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 mining sites; residential and commercial real estate and others.

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' securities practice, 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 investors 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, Commissioner

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. Senator 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, Commissioner

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 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, and 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.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Commissioner

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, Heritage Foundation, 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 Policy Research.

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 Economic Development.


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 she 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 Nevada. 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, Commissioner

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, Commissioner

Apparently "Republican-aligned" Harvard-educated Peter Wallison chairs Financial Policy Studies at and co-directs the American Enterprise Institute (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 "Voodoo Economics" and later became identified as offshoots of "Trickle-Down" or "Supply-Side" - Keynesian Economics... where 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 notice?

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

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