“Credit Crisis Cassandra” named to U.S. inquiry

July 15, 2009

Brooksley BornWASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – Brooksley Born, dubbed the “Credit Crisis Cassandra” for giving unheeded warnings about risks in the U.S. financial system, was appointed on Wednesday to a commission Congress established to investigate the causes of the U.S. and global financial crisis.
Democratic leaders choosing a majority of the 10-member investigating commission also named former California state treasurer Phil Angelides as chairman.

The appointment of Born, a former¬† chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, attracted more immediate attention because of her prominence in warning more than a decade ago about financial risks from over-the-counter derivatives.¬† The Washington Post in May wrote about her as the “Credit Crisis Cassandra.”

The Congress has established a 10-member Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that is supposed to produce a final report by Dec. 15, 2010.

The other four commission members named by House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are: former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, Heather Murren, a retired managing director at Merrill Lynch, Byron Georgiou, a Las Vegas-based businessman and attorney, and John Thompson, Symantec Corp board chairman.

The four members appointed by Republicans are: Former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, who will serve as vice chairman of the commission, Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute, ex-Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin and former National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey.

The commission is expected to probe fraud and abuse in the financial sector, federal and state government enforcement of regulations, credit rating agencies and other factors that may have contributed to the financial crisis, which has helped feed a severe economic recession.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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