I wrote a short piece last week in which I tried to remind Congress that we need to have hearings on the financial meltdown for obvious reasons:
Just a reminder.
I know we've asked for a Truth Commission on torture over and over again, but what about the financial catastrophe the world just experienced? When will hearings be held to uncover the facts that led us and the world to financial ruin? I know we have many basic facts of what happened, but when will an actual hearing take place? If nothing is officially uncovered then how can we stop another one from taking place?
Word is circulating in Washington that members for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission will be named this week.
The commission is supposed to resemble the 1930s Pecora commission that dug into the culprits behind the Great Depression and laid the groundwork for major bank reform. But that will only be true if the commission is run by aggressive seekers of truth, independent of the financial industry, willing to use their subpoena power, knowledgeable enough to have warned us of impeding crisis in the first place despite market cheerleading from the political and media establishments.
Speculation from Reuters last week on who might be named was not terribly encouraging, though most of the names floated clearly were coming from conservative circles, as Republican leaders will pick four of the 10 members.
Cut...OK, here's where we come in. Updated: No members of Congress can be on the commission, but
I think an Alan Grayson or Henry Waxman type would be good choices for the commission. . We do need a panel of brilliant minds that has real progressive representation, but what we also need are people that have an appreciation for the "dramatic." That is, they should know how to ask questions with their allotted time in such a way that it will be highly informative and entertaining at the same time. These are the moments that can really educate Americans, but the commission needs members that understand how to use their valuable time---not to pontificate---but to educate and uncover. And it needs to be riveting while getting to the truth of this mess.
Please ask Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid to make sure they put together a great panel. Nancy was almost scheduled to do a live chat on C&L last week, but because of my family issues, we are rescheduling. However, I think if we let her know how strongly we feel about the new Pecora Commission and ensuring that progressives are solidly represented, she'll come through.
Harry Reid is another story. Here's Reid's office info, so please let him know too.