Financial Crisis Panel Breaks Along Party Lines

Republicans dissent, place more blame on government
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2010 9:38 AM CST
Vice Chairman Bill Thomas, Chairman Phil Angelides, Heather Murren and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, participate in a Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearing on Capitol Hill on January 13, 2010.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Republicans on the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission have broken from their Democratic colleagues to release a document placing more blame on the government for the 2008 catastrophe. The commission has split clearly along partisan lines, the New York Times reports, with Democrats placing the preponderance of the blame on Wall Street risk-taking and fraudulent mortgage lending practices. Republicans, meanwhile, stress the poor oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the ramifications of government policies encouraging home ownership.

When commission Democrats voted to limit individual members’ comments in the report to nine pages each—leaving the balance of the 500-page report to reflect the Democratic consensus—the commission’s four Republicans decided to release a document of their own. “The government subsidized and, in some cases, mandated the extension of credit to high-risk borrowers, propagating risks for financial firms … and ultimately the financial system,” they write. “Put simply, the risk of a housing collapse was simply not appreciated.”

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