More encouraging news from the FCIC:
Today, Chairman Phil Angelides and Vice Chairman Bill Thomas announce that the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has issued a subpoena to Goldman Sachs & Co. for failing to comply with a request for documents and interviews in a timely manner.
In seeking documents and testimony from public agencies and companies, the Commission has made it clear that it is committed to using its subpoena power if there is a lack of, or delay in, compliance. Failure to comply with a Commission request is viewed with the utmost seriousness, as the Commission will not be deterred from getting desired information.
In creating the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission under the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, Congress granted the Commission the power to “require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents.”
Goldman Sachs refuses to comply with federal investigators probing the roots of the financial crisis, a government panel said Monday.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission slapped Goldman with a subpoena compelling the most profitable firm on Wall Street and the nation's fifth-largest bank by assets to turn over documents and produce employees for interviews.
Thus far, most of the firms at the heart of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression have voluntarily turned over documents and allowed crisis investigators to interview their employees.
This is at least the panel's third subpoena pushing financial industry exes to comply with its request. The FCIC's first such subpoena was issued to Moody's Corporation in April for the firm's delay in producing documents and allowing investigators to interview Moody's Investors Service personnel. Its second subpoena was issued last month to famed investor Warren Buffett, compelling his June 2 testimony before the FCIC. Both parties complied.
In a statement, the FCIC said it issued its subpoena to Goldman for "failing to comply with a request for documents and interviews in a timely manner."
More, please, FCIC.
The mandate of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) is to discover the root causes of the financial crisis. It's a bipartisan commission that should be free of political intervention. Goldman Sachs disagrees. It's hired a team of lobbyists and stepped up it's advocacy in Washington to put pressure on the FCIC. This gem was buried deep in today's Washington Post:
Until a few years ago, Goldman Sachs operated a sleepy lobby shop in the nation's capital.
But now, faced with fraud charges, investigations, a firestorm of criticism and a regulatory overhaul bill that could seriously damage its profitability, the venerable Wall Street firm is assembling a team of veteran lobbyists, well-connected former Hill staffers and top public relations strategists to confront what is arguably the most traumatic moment in its 140-year history...
Together, the team is plowing forward with a more aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign, one aimed at making sure that when the history books are written, Goldman's side of the story is told. One focus will be the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the independent group set up by Congress which is putting together a massive report on the causes of the financial collapse.
The FCIC must not let lobbyists from Goldman Sachs rewrite history. The FCIC has a mandate and that mandate should be fulfilled free of influence from corrupt Wall Street banksters.
A federal panel said Wednesday that it had issued a subpoena to the credit-rating agency Moody’s Investors Service after the firm failed to promptly respond to its request for documents and e-mail messages, Sewell Chan writes in The New York Times.
The subpoena suggested an intensified activity by the bipartisan panel, known as the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which was created to examine the causes of the financial crisis.
It was the first such subpoena issued by the panel, which was created by Congress last year and is required to complete its findings by Dec. 15. The panel has been criticized for getting off to a slow start and being unfocused in its inquiry, given the wide scope of its mandate.
The FCIC needs to do more of this. They should continue by issuing a subpoena to Christopher Cox, Bush's man at the SEC. Cox was asleep at the switch and has a lot of questions to answer. It's high time for him to answer them and be held accountable for his role in bringing about the financial crisis.
When a child spills his drink all over the table, that's worthy of a "sorry." When you contribute to the collapse of the global economy, you think we'd deserve a bit more. But, that's not what we got:
Charles O. Prince III, Citigroup’s former chairman and chief executive, apologized for the billions of dollars of losses that caused the company he helped build to nearly collapse. Instead, the bank required three government rescues and some $45 billion in taxpayer aid.
“I’m sorry the financial crisis has had such a devastating impact for our country,” Mr. Prince told the commission. “I’m sorry about the millions of people, average Americans, who lost their homes. And I’m sorry that our management team, starting with me, like so many others could not see the unprecedented market collapse that lay before us.”
Sorry, Charles. That's not good enough. We need more than just apologies from the banksters whose greedy and reckless behavior cost millions of Americans their jobs.
We demand accountability. And, we demand reform to protect consumers from the greed of the banksters. Their contrition is not enough. We need financial reform to protect consumers and hold accountable the people who preyed on the public lest the big banks will act recklessly again.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) was supposed to get to the bottom of what caused the financial crisis. Instead, they're busy fighting among themselves:
In recent months, a top investigator resigned, frustrated by delays in assembling a staff. Behind closed doors the panel’s chairman and vice chairman have had heated disagreements over whether to make public preliminary findings or revelatory documents. Entities like Citigroup and the Treasury have complained that the panel’s requests for information have been vague and voluminous.
The people appointed to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission last July, six by Democrats and four by Republicans, say they hope to publish, by the Dec. 15 deadline, a volume much like the 9/11 Commission report, which was acclaimed for its narrative sweep and became a surprise best seller.
But that goal seems increasingly out of reach, given what the commissioners themselves acknowledge has been a haphazard approach and a lack of time and resources. Given the delays, the commission’s impact on policy could be modest; the House has already voted on a sweeping financial reform bill, and the Senate could vote on it by summer.
The FCIC meets this week. They will question Alan Greenspan and CitiGroup executives. It's time for the FCIC to put aside their petty disagreements and focus on the matter at hand: examining the roots of the financial crisis. Once they do, they'll realize that years of right wing driven deregulation gave Wall Street a blank check to develop a system that put their profits first and our economic health second.