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The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and its criminal referrals

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Why am I less than sanguine that these referrals will result in banksters doing the perp walk?

Phil Angelides, the FCIC's chair, has kicked off a publicity tour, of sorts, for the published version of the commission's report in his home town of Sacramento. He was interviewed today on the local public radio station:

Commenting about the behavior displayed by the people running our largest banks he says, (5:20)

...plus, I will tell you, there was irresponsibility. They made loans that never should have been made. They knew they were defective loans, or never cared to examine them. They packaged those loans, they sold those loans to investors. They did not disclose to the investors what they knew about those mortgage loans, they repackaged them.

So, the banksters failed to disclose to their customers that they knew the product they were selling was shit and that makes them "irresponsible". Not perpetrators of fraud. Not likely guilty of criminal malfeasance, or even negligence. By this logic you could argue that Pol Pot was irresponsible, too.

Neither am I hopeful the the commissions findings will lead to any meaningful reform. Angelides continues, (6:55)

...and it were [sic] our chief policymakers and regulators, they were in charge of protecting the system and they let us down.

How very disappointing. They obviously need a timeout in the corner. Seriously, Angelides has nothing to say about regulatory capture and the role of institutionalized corruption in policymaking, it's merely a matter of them "letting us down".

The whitewash begins....

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Submitted by Hugh on

The whole structure of the FCIC, how it was set up, how members were chosen, what powers and resources it had, indicated this was to be a whitewash from the start. Its report placing blame on the regulators, not the Wall Street gangsters, was an expectable result.

Yves Smith has discussed what the commission missed in terms of CDOs meant to fail driving a demand for bad mortgages precisely so they could be bet against. Then there is all the MERS related activities and frauds at every step from origination onwards. To this I would add the years of deregulation and emasculatng of regulators carried out by the very people who got to select the members of the commission.

Angelides and the FCIC need to be seen, not as a response to, but an expression of, kleptocracy. The purpose of the commission was to confuse and distract from what really happened and who the real perpetrators were.

Hugh