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Sometime today the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission will release it's report. The report.....as with every new bit of information released these days.....will not be accepted as credible by Republicans and conservatives.
Of the 10 commission members, the six appointed by Democrats endorsed the final report. Three Republican members have prepared a dissent focusing on a narrower set of causes; a fourth Republican, Peter J. Wallison, has his own dissent, calling policies to promote homeownership the major culprit. The panel was hobbled repeatedly by internal divisions and staff turnover.
Apparently, the Commission didn't get along all that well. Now, no matter what is released in the report today, the conservative cabal of Rush, Fox, Bachmann, Palin, et.al.....will only focus on the disagreements and the "hobbled..by internal divisions" part of the report. Dual narratives will have to, once again, co-exist, and compete for the hearts and minds of Americans. Like Afghanistan, only with fewer drones.
You might remember that just after the financial collapse in Oct. 2008, the vast right wing conspiracy, led by Fox, spun off an IPO alternative narrative which Tea Party and low-information voters purchased with passion. In the fabricated conservative narrative, the Fannies and the Freddies, and the Jimmy Carter, and the Barney Frank and poorer, home buyers......combined to extort mortgages from unsuspecting Wall Street banks. In this totally phony narrative, big banks got into trouble because they were forced by the government to hand out loans, willy nilly....all against the will of said banks.
The report does knock down — at least partly — several early theories for the financial crisis. It says the low interest rates brought about by the Fed after the 2001 recession; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants; and the “aggressive homeownership goals” set by the government as part of a “philosophy of opportunity” were not major culprits.
I'm pointing this out now....because in 5..4..3..2..1...Foxian News types will be shredding Commission phrasing and reassuring viewers that their faux-bank-failure-narrative is, indeed, the correct one.....no matter what a Democrat Commission reports.
Where does the fault lie, then? Who is it that we can point to and say with relative certainty.....'these guys f*cked everything up.'
19 days of hearings and 700 witnesses later, the Commission found....
.....fault with two Fed chairmen: Alan Greenspan, who led the central bank as the housing bubble expanded, and his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, who did not foresee the crisis but played a crucial role in the response. It criticizes Mr. Greenspan for advocating deregulation and cites a “pivotal failure to stem the flow of toxic mortgages” under his leadership as a “prime example” of negligence.
It also criticizes the Bush administration’s “inconsistent response” to the crisis — allowing Lehman Brothers to collapse in September 2008 after earlier bailing out another bank, Bear Stearns, with Fed help — as having “added to the uncertainty and panic in the financial markets.”
Democrats also come under fire. The decision in 2000 to shield the exotic financial instruments known as over-the-counter derivatives from regulation, made during the last year of President Bill Clinton’s term, is called “a key turning point in the march toward the financial crisis.”
It finds that the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to require big banks to hold more capital to cushion potential losses and halt risky practices, and that the Fed “neglected its mission.”
It says the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates some banks, and the Office of Thrift Supervision, which oversees savings and loans, blocked states from curbing abuses because they were “caught up in turf wars.”
The Commission summary makes it clear that the financial industry collapse was not because of some freak of nature or Poltergeist event.....
“ The crisis was the result of human action and inaction, not of Mother Nature or computer models gone haywire,” the report states. “ The captains of finance and the public stewards of our financial system ignored warnings and failed to question, understand and manage evolving risks within a system essential to the well-being of the American public. Theirs was a big miss, not a stumble.”
The one thing I am sure of when it comes to the fallout over this Commission report...is that right wing media and Republican and conservative spokespeople will not accept the findings. That's a given. And, so, once again, two narratives....two versions of a critical news story....will exist simultaneously....extending our post-modern, post-reality paradigm.
Because that will undoubtedly be the case....I've come to the blog today prepared. This is a must read. Here is a taste.....
Former Bear Stearns mortgage executives who now run mortgage divisions of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Ally Financial have been accused of cheating and defrauding investors through the mortgage securities they created and sold while at Bear. According to e-mails and internal audits, JPMorgan had known about this fraud since the spring of 2008, but hid it from the public eye through legal maneuvering. Last week a lawsuit filed in 2008 by mortgage insurer Ambac Assurance Corp against Bear Stearns and JPMorgan was unsealed. The lawsuit's supporting e-mails, going back as far as 2005, highlight Bear traders telling their superiors they were selling investors like Ambac a "sack of shit."
These are the rich pricks who destroyed the American economy. I know that won't be the final corrupt-media narrative, the one fabricated to make us feel all better about those over-regulated Titans of Capitalism....but it just happens to be true.