|It is high time those responsible for this financial crisis be held accountable, both civilly and criminally. I commend the panel for making referrals to the Department of Justice for criminal investigations. I also commend the 19 recommendations the panel made to help ensure a crisis like this does not happen again.
This bipartisan report also puts into context the current budget battles waging in California, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. Nowhere in the report are the words "union," "collective bargaining" or "workers 'rights" mentioned.
It was AIG, not SEIU, whose excessive risk taking resulted in the largest taxpayer-bailout in U.S. history.
It was Countrywide Home Loans, not the California Teachers Association, whose fraudulent and deceptive practices resulted in millions of foreclosed homes.
And it was Lehman Brothers, not the Labor Federation, whose bankruptcy started a Wall Street collapse that brought America's economy to its knees.
Clearly, we need to be vigilant against those who want to revise history and inappropriately place blame where it does not belong.
As we proceed forward during these difficult economic and budget times, it is important that we be informed by what brought about this crisis and to learn from history, and not stand by and allow it to be repeated.
Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Torrance, is the author of two landmark mortgage and foreclosure reform laws: The California Mortgage Reform Act and the California Foreclosure Prevention Act. He also chairs the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations. For more, visit his Web site at www.senate.ca.gov/lieu