Thursday, January 22, 2009

Isakson, Conrad Introduce Legislation to Investigate Near Collapse of Banking System

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., today introduced legislation to create a Financial Markets Commission that will be charged with fully investigating the near collapse of the banking system and the loss of tens of trillions of dollars.“When Enron and WorldCom failed at the start of this decade, Congress rushed to legislate and regulate without all the facts,” Isakson said. “We need to make sure we don’t repeat that reaction as we seek to recover from today’s financial crisis.”

“If our nation is going to learn from history, we must know exactly what happened and why. We need to take a long hard look at how our financial system spiraled downward so far so fast. And if there was any criminal wrongdoing, people need to be held accountable,” Conrad said. “The final report of this commission will help create the rules that will help shore up our national economy and help make sure this does not happen again.”
The seven-member, bipartisan Financial Markets Commission will be modeled after the 9-11 Commission, which thoroughly and independently investigated the failures leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and made sound recommendations on where we needed to improve to prevent another attack in the future.

Likewise, the Financial Markets Commission will have one year to investigate all the circumstances that led to this financial crisis. The panel will have the authority to refer to the U.S. Attorney General and state attorneys general any evidence that institutions or individuals may have violated existing laws. At the end of its investigation, the Commission will report to the President and to the Congress its recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes necessary to protect our country from a repeat of this financial collapse.

This bipartisan Commission shall include two appointees by the President and one appointee each from the Speaker of the House, the House Republican Leader, the Senate Democratic Leader, the Senate Republican Leader and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
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