Friday, December 17, 2010

Carts & Horses

From Paul Krugman’s op-ed piece in today’s New York Times,

The bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was established by law to “examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.” The hope was that it would be a modern version of the Pecora investigation of the 1930s, which documented Wall Street abuses and helped pave the way for financial reform.

I think if I hear, or read, the word “bipartisan” one more time I am either going to barf or kill something. It might depend on who says it. Or not.

Anyway, from the Washington Post on July 16, 2010, five months ago,

Congress gave final approval Thursday to the most ambitious overhaul of financial regulation in generations, ending more than a year of wrangling over the shape of the new rules and shifting the government's focus to the monumental task of implementing them.

So, this Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is only now getting ready to make its report, five months after Congress has passed its legislation on financial reform. What the hell is with that? We do the reform, and only then do we make a study of what went wrong. I believe the Pecora Commission, which was held in the 1930's and which this thing is supposed to emulate, made its investigation before Congress acted so that it could recommend to Congress what regulations were needed.

Given that Congress has already passed financial regulation reform, this commission is making it’s report in order to do what, precisely?

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