Pelosi vows new “Pecora-style” commission to investigate economic collapse
Speaking Wednesday at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she will act next week to begin setting up an investigatory committee to examine and document what went wrong with economic policy and practices.
Pelosi stated that her decision was the result of persistent complaints from citizens about the collapse and bailout.
"People are very unhappy with these bailouts. Seventy five percent of the American people, at least, want an investigation of what happened on Wall Street."
She described the Pecora Commission as both an investigatory body and a policy generator, and said that’s what she expects the new commission to achieve:
"They investigated what happened in the markets," including conflicts of interests and irregularities that set off such devastating effects on the U.S. economy, she said. When the commission issued its findings during the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "they had tangible recommendations,"…which helped generate widespread public support for major banking system reforms and new securities laws.
"That's what we would do with this commission, is to make sure it does not happen again."
Pelosi gave the Obama administration a heads-up earlier on Wednesday, but isn’t going to wait for anyone in either the Executive or in the Senate to get moving:
"We're going to have a commission ... even if it is only in the House of Representatives."
According to Pelosi, the new committee’s investigation will move forward in parallel with legislation to establish expanded regulatory oversight of the financial industry, identified by President Obama in his economic policy address at Georgetown on Tuesday as the most immediate objective of his top five economic priorities:
The first step we will take to build this foundation is to reform the outdated rules and regulations that allowed this crisis to happen in the first place. It is time to lay down tough new rules of the road for Wall Street to ensure that we never find ourselves here again. Rules that punish short-cuts and abuse. Rules that tie someone's pay to their actual job performance. Rules that protect typical American families when they buy a home, get a credit card or invest in a 401(k). We have already begun to work with Congress to shape this new regulatory framework — and I expect a bill to arrive on my desk for signature before the year is out.