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By Owen Paine on Saturday September 26, 2009 05:23 PM

Shades of The Pecora --

-- or just another damn belt-loop pecora?

Phil Angelides, the begoggled chap shown up top, is after the foul-ballers of Wall Street, and he's pumped, baby, pumped:

"Our job is not to engage in public posturing. It is to pursue the evidence wherever it leads, to leave no financial stone unturned."

" In the course of doing so, we may well find criminal activity as well as egregious practices that were not only permitted but exalted."

"Our job isn’t to presume the worst actions and intention -- -but to follow ...."

Blah blah blah.

Yup, he's gonna clean up Dollar City, folks. Bleat, bleat!

So why this rough, tough, wool-puff turn?

"In the wake of the market crash of 1929, there was a whole generation of Americans who would not put their money at risk in what they considered to be the casino of the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average did not regain its 1929 peak for 25 years. We can ill afford a similar prolonged lack of faith and trust."
Meanwhile, from the meadows of goodly intention comes this flourish -- the friends of Frankie Elder demand action!
Dear Members of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission,

In this moment of great economic turmoil, there is a simple but critical question that we must ask and answer together as a nation:

What caused the crisis?

We, the undersigned, call on you to fulfill the responsibilities of your position by joining together in non-partisan cooperation to investigate the origins of the financial crisis in ways that lead to a full understanding of the institutions, people and practices that are responsible for our economic collapse.

In particular, we encourage the adoption of three guidelines that history has taught us are essential to an effective inquiry:

  • Appoint a single investigator. This individual must have a proven record of exposing fraudulent elites and institutions, and must provide a professional, non-political spirit to the investigation.
  • Afford no special treatment. No one is off-limits or gets special protection in the investigation.
  • Provide the tools to do the job. The investigator must be given ample budget and time, full subpoena authority, and the ability to hire and fire staff.
These principles were applied in the 1930s when Congress launched a formal inquiry into the causes of the Great Depression. That commission -- led by Ferdinand Pecora -- was willing to reach into the highest levels of Wall Street and finance to determine the causes of the economic collapse of 1929. The courage with which the commission greeted its task-and the revelations that courage ensured-inspired the sweeping banking and financial reforms that were the bedrock of our financial system for decades.

Building a new financial foundation requires us to begin on solid ground-the truth. It is only by illuminating the mistakes of the past that we will be able to meet the great challenges of the future.

Thank you for your consideration, and for your willingness to take on this historic challenge.


Dr. Andrew RichRoosevelt Institute
Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, Economist, Roosevelt Institute
Dr. Thomas Ferguson, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Christopher Hayes, New America Foundation
Dr. Robert Johnson, Economist, Roosevelt Institute
Dr. David Woolner Historian, Roosevelt Institute
Dr. William Black, University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Law
Dr. Robert Reich, University of California at Berkeley
Dr. James K. Galbraith, University of Texas
Dr. Randall B. Woods, University of Arkansas
Rev. Marcia Dyson, Georgetown University
Rudy Arredondo, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
Meizhu Lui, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative
Dr. Barbara M. Parramore, Professor Emeritus, North Carolina State University
James P. Hoffa, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Hamilton Fish, The Nation Institute

Quite a fearsome posse, eh?

Comments (4)

Angelides has creds, but the commission as a whole is more likely to whitewash the high crimes. I almost signed the Roosevelt Institute petition, until I saw their featured leadership photo of Hillary Clinton. Even so, what is there to discover that we don't already know?

Exciting! Wonder how long it'll take em to find that One Bad Apple that Spoiled the Whole Bunch, Girl...

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