Monday, January 11, 2010

Let the inquiry begin

Frank Rich writes in The New York Times to echo the sentiment of my previous post that our economic ignorance is putting us all in grave danger. At long last, public hearings begin this week to examine the chicanery that led to the 2008 financial crisis. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission may be our only chance to learn what really went on, not only on Wall Street but on Pennsylvania Avenue, as well. Rich makes clear how vital it is that we truly understand what happened and why, if we are to avoid another even worse economic calamity:

"What we don’t know will hurt us, and quite possibly on a more devastating scale than any Qaeda attack. Americans must be told the full story of how Wall Street gamed and inflated the housing bubble, made out like bandits, and then left millions of households in ruin. Without that reckoning, there will be no public clamor for serious reform of a financial system that was as cunningly breached as airline security at the Amsterdam airport. And without reform, another massive attack on our economic security is guaranteed. Now that it can count on government bailouts, Wall Street has more incentive than ever to pump up its risks — secure that it can keep the bonanzas while we get stuck with the losses."

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