A DC  lawyer type who has reviewed the Oversight Committee’s FCIC report sends along these notes:

Barry,

I’m sure you’ve seen this by now, but the Oversight Committee’s minority report on the FCIC is explosive.

Based on this report, I would think that a broader investigation is certainly warranted. There were certainly major ethics violations here, and potentially some criminal ones as well.

You can see the full report here.

Read the section about how Peter Wallison leaked confidential documents to Edward Pinto, and about Bill Thomas’s correspondence with his former staffer (now a lobbyist). The Edward Pinto leak was actually referred to the FCIC’s General Counsel, who said that it was a violation of their ethics code.

Moreover, the actual charter for the FCIC was to investigate the causes of the financial crisis. If Wallison was actually using his position to try to advance the repeal of DFA, rather than simply objectively analyze the causes, I would assume he would be violating that Congressional mandate, and I would think that would at least merit a broader investigation. There are certainly ethics problems here, and maybe even criminal ones as well.

Finally, and this could be the big shocker (and perhaps why McHenry CANCELLED the “criticize the FCIC” hearing he had scheduled for today), the email traffic between Wallison and other commissioners, and Wallison’s relationship with the GOP staff, seems to suggest that Wallison may have been working with certain members of the House GOP to try to repeal DFA. That would seem to implicate certain Congressmen as well. Again, not sure if this rises to the level of criminality, but my off the cuff reaction is that an investigation is warranted here. The FCIC, which was authorized and funded by Congress, was supposed to provide an independent, bipartisan analysis of the causes of the crisis, NOT serve as a platform for a partisan, ideologically motivated attempt to repeal past legislation.

You can see the full report here.

Category: Politics, Real Estate, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

16 Responses to “Attempts to Submarine FCIC Report Backfiring”

  1. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    For some, NOTHING rises to the level of criminality.

  2. Expat says:

    It’s okay. It’s just a few bad apples again. No, really. The financial system is sound and honest, as are those running it and working in it.

    Nothing to see. Move along. Move along.

  3. Tim says:

    Criminal, but nothing will happen. The whole system is corrupt.

    Someday, there may be a second American revolution. Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m getting very angry.

  4. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    When it takes me less than two minutes to land on this kind of thing in a document (p. 4):

    For example, on November 3, 2010, the day after the mid-term congressional elections inwhich Republicans took control of the House, Republican Commissioner Peter Wallison e-mailed Republican Commissioner Douglas Holtz-Eakin: “It’s very important, I think, that whatwe say in our separate statements not undermine the ability of the new House GOP to modify orrepeal Dodd-Frank.

    ”The next day, he sent a similar e-mail to Vice Chairman Thomas, attaching an articleentitled “GOP Pledges Major Changes to Dodd-Frank, Fannie and Freddie, CFPB.” He wrote:“Garrett [Rep. Scott Garrett] has also suggested in the past a complete repeal of Dodd-Frank.This effort should not be undermined. That law will suppress economic growth because it wasbased on the idea that more regulation was necessary. Boehner also said yesterday that changingthis law was a priority.”

    I lose all patience.

    This is the guy who went all Minority Report on the FCIC.

    Oh, and McHenry is the same GOP Rep who was browbeating Prof Elizabeth Warren a few weeks back, accusing her of ‘lying’ about her day’s schedule?

    Okay, so let me make sure that I get this:
    The Congress-funded FCIC had as members several people who were intending to subvert the work that Congress funded them to support? And the subversion was a deliberate attempt to undermine a new Congressional law?

    After reading only the first few pages of the report BR links to here, I’m skeptical that Wallison could recognize ‘mortgage fraud’, or any other white collar criminal activity, if it socked him on the nose.

  5. DeDude says:

    So much for trying to find the truth about what happened so we can prevent another trillion dollar disaster. GOPster politics and serving the Wall Street campaign donors is so much more important than the truth and preventing the next trillion dollar disaster. Well at least he ended up being a one out of 9 minority report. There was still enough integrity on the other side to give us a reasonably accurate report of what went wrong from the majority. Though with the current campaign funding disaster I worry that the next report on the next disaster will have a majority worried more about serving Wall Street banksters than society.

  6. constantnormal says:

    This is the way that our Congress works. They did not get to be the most-despised branch of government by accident. Just doing the important business of the Corporatocracy.

    I am sure that nobody on the opposition side is surprised by this, nor do I expect to see any corrective action taken. A matter of professional courtesy — I’m sure their brothers on the other side of the aisle would turn the same blind eye for them.

    Maybe 60 Minutes will get right on this, and run the story sometime in 2012. Hopefully Jon Stewart is a reader of TBP — that would be the most effective (and only likely) spotlight of inquiry one is likely to see.

  7. Transor Z says:

    Pretty sure Jon Stewart show writers follow TBP regularly. Problem is, how in the world do you turn this into something funny?

  8. VennData says:

    Wallison won’t be buying BSkyB after this.

    Does Madoff need a bunk mate?

  9. Thor says:

    All anyone would have to do us cut and paste this story over at Think Progress and I think it might take off. . . . .

  10. Thor says:

    Or better yet – email them the tip (just did!)

    BR – you and Yves are doing god’s work in spades lately man. Please please please keep up the good work!

  11. Moss says:

    Sounds like the same strategy Bush and the GOP used to render any regulatory apparatus impotent by appointing ideologues who oppose regulation as a matter of principle.

    Maybe Dylan Ratigan run with this.

  12. bobmitchell says:

    We spent more time and money investigating a blow job.

  13. Paglia guy says:

    So did Barney Frank.

  14. DeDude says:

    In the same line but worse look at this link from Barry’s Wednesday afternoon reads:

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/money/foreclosures/foreclosure-fraud-investigators-forced-out-at-attorney-generals-1603854.html

    GOPster politicians making sure to stop investigation of their campaign contributers crimes by booting out investigators who actually do their job.

  15. [...] by the Republicans who served on the FCIC, especially in regards to leaking documents.  A reader at Barry Ritholtz’s site said: “Based on this report, I would think that a broader investigation is certainly warranted. [...]

  16. Francois says:

    This country will stand a fighting chance of staying great the day voters send the Republicans knee-deep in the opposition for AT LEAST 12 years. That is, maximum 30 seats in the Senate and less than a 100 in the House.

    This is the unfortunately necessary time it takes to clean up the immense cesspool of criminality, sleaze and dishonesty within their ranks. From denying by House resolution, the reality of climate change while Texas is roasting in the worst drought ever, to practicing systemic sabotage on financial reform, working overtime to widen ever more the income gap, this edition of the Republican party must DIE!!

    Otherwise, the USA will have been a great country.

    PS: Anyone who wants to give me the “democrats are also like that” can blow his own cephalic appendage right up.