Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let's Disinfect Wall Street

Wall Street needs to have some very bright sunlight shone on it.

From Commentary: Investigate Wall Street by Julian E. Zelizer:

Partisan warfare in the 1990s, including the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton, made many Americans cynical about congressional investigation, as it seemed to be just another tool in the bitter culture of Capitol Hill.

But Congress can help us learn. We need another Pecora Commission, another Fulbright Committee, another Sam Ervin to use the power of Congress to shed light on the causes of our current economic meltdown.

Congress needs to learn more, not only about the kind of criminal activity for which Bernard Madoff is being charged, but also the legal practices -- such as risky home loans -- that created dangerous bubbles and put families at risk.

If voters and politicians are going to be able to evaluate legislation that is being proposed on a weekly basis, citizens must understand what has gone wrong.

This will be the first step toward restoring the confidence that the country needs if it is to start a better day.

3 comments - Post a comment :

Anonymous said...

"Congress needs to learn more,... about...the legal practices -- such as risky home loans -- that created dangerous bubbles and put families at risk."

Actually, the American people need to know more about Congress' role in these "legal practices".

We should be investigating why they backed Fannie Mae's weakening of lending guidelines, resulting in taxpayers being on the hood for riskier and risker loans. Who really benefited by Fannie Mae bringing risky sub-prime mortgages to mainstreet?

Certainly not mainstreet.

Paul Thoreau said...

Anonymous:

How about both investigations? One for Wall Street and one for Congress? Who shall we get to investigate Congress? Congress? Will they express outrage at themselves?

Anonymous said...

You raise good points. I believe the minority party should speak out and call for such an investigation. And I would hope that news organizations, such as CNN, should raise the issue instead of blaming Wall Street for problems that if investigated would find their roots in our congressional representatives.

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