US crisis report hurt by politics

THE FINAL report from the 10-member Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) into the causes of the US financial crisis, issued yesterday, was marred by political wrangling.

Just six Democratic members of the 10-member panel endorsed the final 545-page report, with four Republican members dissenting, ensuring that the impact of the commission’s work on policy-making will likely be limited.

At a briefing yesterday, FCIC chairman Phil Angelides, defended the panel’s work as valuable and pointed to areas of agreement between Republicans and Democrats.

“But there are fundamental differences. We believe that this crisis was avoidable. We believe that it was a result of human action and inaction,” he added.

The main dissent by three Republican members put more emphasis on economic factors, including a global credit bubble that produced similar problems across Europe.

The report blamed “reckless” Wall Street firms and “weak” federal regulators for contributing to the economic collapse. It also laid blame with the SEC and the Federal Reserve.