There’s a huge scandal going on in the banking world that most people (myself included) are probably having difficulty really grasping. You’ve probably seen the word LIBOR and the names Barclays and Bob Diamond in financial news headlines, but you would be forgiven if you didn’t take the time to wrap your mind around what those stories are about. Eliot Spitzer, former NY governor and current Current TV host, with guests Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone and Dennis Kelleher, a former K Street lawyer now working to reform the banking system, lays out the scandal a little more clearly in this brief clip.
I wonder if ethics for some Republicans is so markedly different from everyone else’s such that, when charged with investigating the actions of Wall Street banks that might have led to that little catastrophe of 2008, they feel absolutely no moral qualms about sharing information about their inquiries with a lobbyist for those banks. Do they view that “heads up” to their supposed quarry as an act of heroism, even? Or do they just not have a nose for what most people would probably view as corruption in the halls of power?
After the jump, a portion of a report to Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, An Examination of Attacks on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. This document concerns several charges against Republicans on this Commission, which was established in 2009 to investigate the causes of the financial crisis. Some of the charges concern the Republican Commissioners’ partisanship while on the panel, i.e., using their position to try to aid House Republicans’ efforts to kill the Dodd-Frank Act, or “parroting” an American Enterprise Institute “theory” about the role Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae played in causing the crisis, which became a major right-wing talking point in Congress and the media. But perhaps the most damning charges concern Vice-Chairman Bill Thomas, who the report alleges, shared information about the ongoing investigation with a friend and colleague who happened to be chief lobbyist for Citibank among other financial players: Continue reading