The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was created to “examine the causes of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.” In this report, the Commission presents to the President, the Congress, and the American people the results of its examination and its conclusions as to the causes of the crisis. Read full report.
More than two years after the worst of the financial crisis, our economy, as well as communities and families across the country, continues to experience the aftershocks. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and their homes, and the economy is still struggling to rebound. This report is intended to provide a historical accounting of what brought our financial system and economy to a precipice and to help policy makers and the public better understand how this calamity came to be.
The Commission was established as part of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (Public Law 111-21) passed by Congress and signed by the President in May 2009. This independent, 10-member panel was composed of private citizens with experience in areas such as housing, economics, finance, market regulation, banking, and consumer protection. Six members of the Commission were appointed by the Democratic leadership of Congress and four members by the Republican leadership.
The Commission’s statutory instructions set out 22 specific topics for inquiry and called for the examination of the collapse of major financial institutions that failed or would have failed if not for exceptional assistance from the government. This report fulfills these mandates. In addition, the Commission was instructed to refer to the attorney general of the United States and any appropriate state attorney general any person that the Commission found may have violated the laws of the United States in relation to the crisis. Where the Commission found such potential violations, it referred those matters to the appropriate authorities. The Commission used the authority it was given to issue subpoenas to compel testimony and the production of documents, but in the vast majority of instances, companies and individuals voluntarily cooperated with this inquiry. Read full report.