Nominees emerge for US panel on Wall Street meltdown

Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:31pm EDT

 * Commission may include Born, Thompson, Garn - source
 * Announcement of crisis commission members due soon
 By Karey Wutkowski
 WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) - A bipartisan panel armed
with subpoena power to investigate causes of the Wall Street
meltdown is on the brink of being launched, as Congress embarks
on an ambitious effort to reform policing of the financial
sector.
 A short list of names has emerged for the Financial Crisis
Inquiry Commission that includes former Republican presidential
candidate Fred Thompson; former Democratic head of the
Commodities Futures Trading Commission Brooksley Born; and Alex
Pollock, a fellow at the conservative think tank American
Enterprise Institute, according to a source familiar with the
matter.
 Congress last month created the 10-member commission to
study how fraud, regulatory lapses, monetary policy,
accounting, lending practices and executive pay contributed to
the worst U.S. financial crisis since the Great Depression.
 U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said
the panel is modeled after the Pecora Commission, a
Depression-era U.S. Senate panel that investigated the causes
of the 1929 Wall Street crash.
 "I think the announcement should be coming in the near
future," Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said about the naming
of the appointees.
 The source, speaking anonymously because discussions were
still ongoing, said other possible appointees include Bill
Thomas, former Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means
Committee; Jake Garn, former Republican senator; and Bob
Graham, the former Democratic senator and Florida governor.
 Born, Pollock and Thomas declined to comment. Thompson,
Garn, and Graham did not immediately respond to messages.
 The crisis commission must report its findings to Congress
in December 2010. Its work will run parallel to Congressional
efforts to draft the most dramatic overhaul of the financial
regulatory system since the 1930s.
 President Barack Obama has said he hopes reform legislation
can be finalized by the end of this year. Obama's proposal,
unveiled earlier this month, calls for the Federal Reserve to
police systemic risks to the economy and proposes consolidating
primary bank supervision into a new regulator.
 The plan also calls for creating a new consumer financial
product watchdog and for giving the federal government the
power to unwind troubled firms whose stability impact the
broader financial system.
 The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission will study what led
to the failure of several large Wall Street firms, which
prompted Congress last year to pass a $700 billion financial
bailout that has been unpopular among voters.
 The U.S. economy has shed six million jobs since December
2007 in the midst of a recession that has seen the jobless rate
hit 9.4 percent.
 The crisis commission was given the power to hold hearings
and to subpoena witnesses' testimony as well as correspondence
and documents.
 RELATED NEWS:
 * Bernanke faces fire on BofA-Merrill deal [ID:nN25267831]
 * FACTBOX-US financial regulation proposals[ID:nN21264584]
 * TAKE A LOOK-Changes in financial regulation [ID:nFINREG]
 * Washington regulatory news       [WASH-REG-BNK-LEN-RTRS)
 (Reporting by Karey Wutkowski, additional reporting by Jeremy
Pelofsky; editing by Carol Bishopric)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.