The FCIC falls apart

By Felix Salmon
December 15, 2010
Shahien Nasiripour reports this morning that the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has, to all intents and purposes, fallen apart.

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Shahien Nasiripour reports this morning that the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has, to all intents and purposes, fallen apart. The four Republicans seem set to issue their own minority report, sticking to discredited Republican talking points which blame the government and Frannie for the crisis, with especial focus on the long-standing and harmless Community Reinvestment Act. As a result, the official report will be received as some kind of equal-and-opposite Democrat view, rather than a definitive take along the lines of the 9/11 Commission report.

Given that putting this report together seems to be impossible, here’s my suggestion: it should go open-source. The FCIC’s great advantage over other narratives of the crisis is its subpoena power: it has access to enormous amounts of information no one else has seen. If it can’t collate that information into a definitive report, it should make all the information public—including everything in that notorious Goldman Sachs data dump—and let all of us have at it. Collectively, we should be able to do at least as well as the partisans in DC.

Update: You really can’t make this stuff up:

During a private commission meeting last week, all four Republicans voted in favor of banning the phrases “Wall Street” and “shadow banking” and the words “interconnection” and “deregulation” from the panel’s final report, according to a person familiar with the matter and confirmed by Brooksley E. Born, one of the six commissioners who voted against the proposal.

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