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The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's First Open Meeting

Yesterday, a member of the Forum's staff sat in on the first open meeting of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission ("FCIC"), a body created by  the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 “to examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.”   At the meeting, each of the ten members of the bipartisan committee delivered remarks about the purpose, scope, and direction of the group, and the Commission's chairman, Phil Angelides, introduced the group's recently hired executive director, Thomas Green, formerly Chief Assistant Attorney General in California.

The Commission members seemed to be in agreement, given that they must deliver a report to Congress by December 2011, that the group and its staff must work quickly and nimbly, or lose their relevance to the momentum of financial regulatory reform.   Angelides announced that the FCIC would have its key staff in place by the end of October, and begin sending letters to regulators, financial institutions, and key players instructing them to preserve documents that may be needed for the FCIC's investigations.  Interviews of witnesses, experts, agency heads, and market participants are scheduled to commence in November, with open hearings to start in December.

The FCIC is comprised of ten members selected by Congressional leaders of the respective parties.

  1. (Chairman) Phil Angelides

  2. (Vice Chairman) Former Rep. Bill Thomas

  3. Brooksley Born

  4. Byron Georgiou

  5. Former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL)

  6. Keith Hennessey

  7. Doug Holtz-Eakin

  8. Heather Murren

  9. John Thompson

  10. Peter Wallison

The Commission has been compared to the historic Pecora Commission that investigated the causes of the market downturn that led to the Great Depression.  The Commission has also been compared to the 9-11 Commission.  The FCIC has been charged by statute to investigate the causes of the recent financial crisis, with a specific focus on 22 areas.