Fallout: The Financial Crisis

It’s time to name names in the fallout

Steve Henn Apr 17, 2009
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Fallout: The Financial Crisis

It’s time to name names in the fallout

Steve Henn Apr 17, 2009
HTML EMBED:
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Ever since the financial crisis hit, there’s been a question hanging over this country: Do we need to officially blame some people? Should there be investigations, criminal trials? Or do we all just need to quit pointing fingers and focus on recovering?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has an answer. When Congress gets back into session next week, she wants to set up a powerful committee to find what — and who — is responsible for the fallout. Marketplace’s Steve Henn has more.


Steve Henn: Shortly after Franklin Roosevelt was sworn into office, congress created what became known as the Pecora commission to investigate the causes of The Great Depression.

Pecora, a former prosecutor, called the barons of Walls Street before his commission to testify. His work exposed frauds, conflicts of interest and led to reforms like the creation of the SEC.

Bill Black, a law professor and former bank regulator, has been arguing for months this is exactly kind of investigation is the country needs now:

Bill Black: To be able to solve the problems, you have to find the problems.

But Black expects the financial industry will push back hard.

Black: Of course lots of people fear that they will end up in jail if the truth comes out.

But Robert Borosage at the Campaign for America’s future says if Congress doesn’t create an independent commission with subpoena power, it could be courting a backlash.

Robert Borosage: This is driven not by the Congress, but by the public and the public’s outrage.

He say the investigation will ultimately be judged by what it uncovers.

In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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