Some goodies from the latest Frank Rich column:
As the economics commentator Jeff Madrick points out in The New York Review of Books, the American public is still owed “a clear account of the financial events of the last two years and of who, if anyone, is seriously to blame.” Without that, there will be neither the comprehensive policy framework nor the political will to change anything.
The only investigation in town is a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission created by Congress in May. It is still hiring staff. Its 10 members are dispersed throughout the country, and, according to a spokeswoman, have contemplated only a half-dozen public sessions over the next year. Such a panel, led by the former California state treasurer Phil Angelides, seems highly unlikely to match Congress’s Depression-era Pecora commission. That investigation was driven by a prosecutor whose relentless fact-finding riveted the country and gave birth to the Securities and Exchange Commission, among other New Deal reforms. Last week, we learned that the current S.E.C. has hired a former Goldman hand as the chief operating officer of its enforcement unit.
I’m a little put off by Rich’s overall anti-Goldman, anti-Ivy, bordering-on-a-conspiracy-theory not-quite-populism in this column, but this idea is just right on. I mean, gawd — can you imagine an independent, prosecutor-led investigation into the financial crisis that was as dogged and intense and public as Ken Starr’s investigations of Bill Clinton? Complete with a book like the 9/11 Commission’s? We’ve got Patrick Fitzgerald investigating Blagojevich and… which B-team, exactly, on the global financial crisis?
Come on. Let’s get to the bottom of something. Preferably something real.