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Bipartisan U.S. Senate report identifies culprits of financial crisis

by: tedlieu

Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 13:11:28 PM PDT

Nowhere in the report are the words "union," "collective bargaining" or "workers 'rights" mentioned.

A bipartisan federal investigative report has affirmed what many on Main Street have known for quite some time: Our financial crisis and resulting recession occurred as a result of risky, unethical and likely criminal behavior by reckless Wall Street institutions and the regulators that failed to stop them.

The panel singles out in particular Goldman Sachs, Washington Mutual, Credit Reporting Agencies and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS).  A fitting punishment for Washington Mutual and OTS' inexcusable behavior is that they no longer exist.  

The panel concludes Goldman Sachs deceived Congress, investors and the public when they shorted the housing market in 2007.  Goldman Sachs should be ashamed for betting against America.  Goldman Sachs wanted the housing market to fail in spectacular fashion because that way they would receive spectacular profits for their company.  I guess this must be what Goldman Sachs' CEO meant when he said his company was doing God's work.

tedlieu :: Bipartisan U.S. Senate report identifies culprits of financial crisis
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

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Anyone see a strawman running around? (2.25 / 4)
Of course unions are not to blame for the financial crisis, nobody ever said that they were, at least no sane person.

What unions, rather public sector unions, are to blame for are the pension benefit packages that they negotiated with elected officials that they in large part got elected, and which put the taxpayer on the hook for unfunded liabilities.

I lost 50% of my 401K in the Wall Street collapse and I'm not happy about it and I'll be paying for it for years.  I feel bad for any public sector employee who lost 50% of their pension fund...oh wait, no I don't, because I have to pay for that too.

Everyone knows Wall Street goes up and down and if you invest in that casino you'd better be prepared to accept the loses as well as the wins.  Public employee unions have negotiated pension benefits that allow them to take all the wins and make the taxpayer cover the loses.  You can't blame Goldman Sachs for those contracts.

Real Villians (2.33 / 3)

Slick Willie Clinton for his business friendly 'De-Regulation'

Lying Al Gore  (see above) remember 'New Democrats?)
How about Democratic Leadership Council ?

It was these two clowns that supported the Gramm-Bliley-Leach bill that effectively de-regulated banks
They ended the FDR-era regualtions that prevented things like this from happening
Gramm, Bliley and LEach wre Republicans
You expect them to screw us

But, now Slick Willie and Lying Al are considered Democratic icons

Barack Obama isn't much better
Save the banks, forget everybody else

It turns out that Slick Willie and Lying Al were BOTH fanny grabbers
Peas in a Pod

Remember 'De Regulation' ?
WHAT has THAT done for America ?
Remember 'Energy De-Regulation' in California ??
DON'T ACCEPT 'Business Democrats' !!!!

Slick Willie and Al Gore did not Cause the depression (4.00 / 2)
The commenters above can blame Bill Clinton and Al Gore, but they did not cause your pain.  The public sector contracts were drawn up based on the normal range of growth in revenue and taxes.  The unraveling of certain financial regulations started 30 years ago and accelerated under George Bush.  The greed of Wall Street and there little games they played on us, whether we wanted to play or not, lead to the problems we are now facing. This report clearly states this fact.  

John Freeman

[ Parent ]
Poppycock (1.00 / 2)
Balderdash JOhn,

the projected returns offered up by CalPERS and CalSTRS were Madoffesque.  But that was not the real crime, the real crime is that the contracts put the taxpayers on the hook for investment losses.

I'm dealing with losses in my own 401K plan and I have to pay for the losses in my neighbors pension plan too?  You think thats fair.

The Stock market is a casino.  If you invest your retirement dollars there you should be prepared to lose as well as win.  Its unconscionable that the struggling taxpayers of California are being made to reach into their pockets to pay for the $100K per year retirement packages of 55 year old public sector retirees while they are greeting people at Walmart.

[ Parent ]
Sorry (0.00 / 0)
It was under Clinton that De-regulation of the banks was accomplished
See Gramm-Leach-Bliley
THAT de-regulated banking institutions
Did you ever notice that Clinton made $109MILLION AFTER his Presidency ?
Where do you think THAT Money came from
The 'New Democrats' SOLD US OUT
Did Republicans sell us out ?
OF CURSE but that's Expected

Jimmy Carter started with Airline De-regulation
Pete 'White Power' Wilson pushed Energy De-Regulation in California.....
But, the Democrats in the Assembly and the Senate Voted for De-Regulation

[ Parent ]
Oh yeah (1.00 / 3)
Let us not forget that the California Public Pension funds are the biggest single investors on Wall Street so when you are talking about Wall Street greed you are talking about them.  I don't remember labor complaining about the contribution holidays when Wall Street was booming.  They are also among the biggest real estate investors in the world so when you talk about greedy housing speculators, you are talking cops, firefighters, teachers and janitors.

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