Monday, February 07, 2011

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report Names Names and Places Blame.

Surprise! Surprise! The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's final report (and index, which can be found at a separate link) actually mentions people by name, and claims the financial crisis was not a surprise.  It goes as far as to say that there was a "systemic breakdown in accountability and ethics."

There is even a Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission website that contains, or will contain "a stockpile of materials—including documents and emails, video of the Commission’s public hearings, testimony, and supporting research—that can be studied for years to come. Much of what is footnoted in this report can be found on the website."

"As this report goes to print, there are more than 26 million Americans who are out of work, cannot find full-time work, or have given up looking for work. About
four million families have lost their homes to foreclosure and another four and a half million have slipped into the foreclosure process or are seriously behind on their mortgage payments. Nearly $11 trillion in household wealth has vanished, with retirement accounts and life savings swept away. Businesses, large and small, have felt the sting of a deep recession. There is much anger about what has transpired, and justifiably so. Many people who abided by all the rules now find themselves out of work and uncertain about their future prospects. The collateral damage of this crisis has been real people and real communities. The impacts of this crisis are likely to be felt for a generation. And the nation faces no easy path to renewed economic strength."
Conclusions in a nutshell:
We conclude this financial crisis was avoidable.

We conclude widespread failures in financial regulation and supervision
proved devastating to the stability of the nation’s financial markets

We conclude dramatic failures of corporate governance and risk management
at many systemically important financial institutions were a key cause of this crisis.

We conclude a combination of excessive borrowing, risky investments, and lack
of transparency put the financial system on a collision course with crisis

We conclude the government was ill prepared for the crisis, and its inconsistent
response added to the uncertainty and panic in the financial markets.

We conclude there was a systemic breakdown in accountability and ethics.

We conclude collapsing mortgage-lending standards and the mortgage securitization
pipeline lit and spread the flame of contagion and crisis.

We conclude over-the-counter derivatives contributed significantly to this
crisis.

We conclude the failures of credit rating agencies were essential cogs in the
wheel of financial destruction.
Yet, who continues to pay the price?  We, the people. 

Professor Mark J. Perry, at his blog CARPE DIEM posted:
Real GDP finally increased above its pre-recession level in the fourth quarter of 2010, and the $13.38 trillion of real GDP (2005 dollars) was the highest-ever quarterly output in U.S. history, slightly higher than the previous record of $13.36 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2007.

But here’s what’s really amazing and is illustrated in the bottom chart: The U.S. produced slightly more output in Q4 2010 (by 0.14%) than in Q4 2007 when the recession started, but with 7.2 million fewer workers (almost 5%)!

2 comments:

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Anonymous,  00:51  

That chart tells the whole story. The huge gap between GDP rising and employment falling proves the agenda behind current economic policy. They don't give a damn about the people. It's all about lining the pockets of the elite, and nothing else.

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