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Financial crisis report finds early critics

Jan. 27, 2011 at 2:48 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A federal panel's report on the U.S. financial crisis could end up as a long sleeper, an associate of the Brookings Institution think tank said Thursday.

"This is another set of reports that will likely just collect dust in the bin of history," said Robert Litan, referring to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's 576-page explanation of the financial meltdown of 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The commission, which sent its report to bookstores Thursday, concluded that many factors contributed to the meltdown, including greedy and incompetent bankers, regulators who lacked the political will to do their jobs and excessive risk-taking on Wall Street.

Moreover, the 10-member panel led by former California Treasurer Phil Angelides, a Democrat, never arrived at a consensus. Three dissenting Republicans are issuing their own report, and another, Peter Wallison, has broken away from that pack to write his own version of the commission's findings, focusing his blame on the government's efforts to promote homeownership.

Some of the hair-splitting might dilute the impact of the reports. "What other people in our view get wrong is not when they point out problems in U.S. policy, but when they say problems in U.S. policies are sufficient to explain the crisis," said Keith Hennessey, a panelist appointed by Republicans.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he will hold a hearing to ask why the commission went over budget and why no consensus was reached.

"Such partisanship does not bode well for the production of a thorough, systematic and non-partisan examination of the failures in both government and the financial markets," Issa and two other congressmen wrote in a letter to Angelides, the newspaper said.

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