Mr. Angelides: “Our goal was to create a record (The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Final Report) and history that could not easily be rewritten by ideologues or by Wall Street and its flunkies.”
Mike Perry’s response: It’s comments like this that clearly reveal Mr. Angelides as a lifelong, liberal Democrat partisan, rather than an objective finder of fact and the truth. From the day of the report’s release in January 2011, Mr. Angelides has misled the American public by falsely portraying his Commission’s Final Report as a unified report of the federal government. The fact is the Commission’s Final Report is a report of Democrats-only, no Republican on the Commission signed on to it. The Wall Street Journal itself notes in this very article that it, “was greeted with a universal shrug, and that its impact was diluted by two dissents from Republicans.”
Objectively, Mr. Angelides did not achieve his goal. Yet he continues, ten years after the crisis, to falsely claim that he did.
Mr. Angelides: “It’s the immaculate corruption. Banks were engaged in wrongdoing, but somehow no bankers were involved.” (The Wall Street Journal notes in this article, “That his lasting disappointment is that while several banks faced substantial fines, no one was really held accountable.”)
Mike Perry’s response: The tens of billions in government fines paid by banks to the Obama Administration (mostly the civil division of The Department of Justice) were coerced. The Wall Street Journal itself has noted this fact numerous times over the years, most recently in a mid-July 2018 Editorial Board article about a federal judge ruling that California’s government illegally took hundreds of millions of crisis era mortgage settlement funds to help balance its own budget. I don’t think they would they would have done that, if they thought this money was really going to California victims of their mortgage lenders, do you?
If Mr. Angelides truly ran an objective, bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, why would he be so upset that individual bankers weren’t punished?
What proof does he have that the Obama Administration (his own party) investigators and prosecutors did not? Mr. Angelides (or Senator Sanders) never name specific bankers and their specific bad behavior or crimes, why? He’s not the enforcer anyways. Others like former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara were and found no evidence of crimes.
As Chairman, Mr. Angelides was supposed to be the objective finder of facts and the truth. His own post-crisis words reveal he was not.
The truth is that as a lifelong liberal, former head of the California Democrat Party, Mr. Angelides believes more in collectivism than individual freedom, liberty, and free-market capitalism.
He’s a progressive who believes that “the ends justifies the means,” rather than in The Rule of Law.
His comments remind me of a lot of socialist-totalitarian government politicians and officials that Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek describes in his famous tome, The Road to Serfdom. In the chapter entitled, “Why The Worst Get On Top” Hayek says, “…in the second negative principle of selection (of political leaders): he will be able to obtain the support of all the docile and gullible, who have no strong convictions of their own but are prepared to accept a ready-made system of values if it is drummed into their ears sufficiently loudly and frequently…” And Hayek goes on to say, “It seems to be almost a law of human nature that it is easier for people to agree on a negative program….on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off…..than on any positive task. The contrast between the “we” and the “they,” the common fight against those outside the group, seems to be an essential ingredient in any creed which will solidly knit together a group for common action.”
Mr. Angelides, I stand ready to debate you on the facts and truth about the financial crisis, as long as it is public and we get to ask the questions of each other, anytime, anywhere.
Please read my ten-year anniversary blog posting #1300 on July 11, 2018.
THE WORLD THE CRISIS CREATED
Phil Angelides Delved Into the Root of the Housing Crisis. Now He Builds Homes
Former head of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission still defends the report that ‘landed with a thud’
By Asjylyn Loder
A decade after the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal has checked in on dozens of the bankers, government officials, chief executives, hedge-fund managers and others who left a mark on that period to find out what they are doing now. Today, we spotlight ex-Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O’Neal and Phil Angelides, former head of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
Investigating the roots of the financial crisis in Washington’s political hothouse can make even an experienced politician nostalgic for a local zoning dispute.
As the former head of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Phil Angelides had the unenviable job of herding the politically divided commissioners through an inquisition of Wall Street’s banking titans in order to explain to millions of Americans what had just happened to their homes, jobs and retirement accounts.
These days, he’s focused on real-estate investing and getting Democrats elected to Congress.
His latest venture as a property developer is McKinley Village, a newly built neighborhood in east Sacramento, Calif., equipped with an art walk and a community center. Every house comes prewired for solar panels and electric-car-charging stations. Prices range from about $500,000 to $1 million. He has also been involved in a few sizable solar power plants.
“Unlike a lot of what you may do in politics, there’s something very gratifying about and tangible about building big solar projects. There’s something very tangible about building a new urban neighborhood in your hometown,” Mr. Angelides said in a February interview.
Mr. Angelides talking about the commission’s report on the causes of the financial crisis in January 2011. PHOTO: JACQUELYN MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
But after a decade, albeit interrupted, of coaxing McKinley Village from the ground, Mr. Angelides, now 65 years old, says he plans get more involved in politics. A lifelong Democrat, he says he is concerned about the deregulatory fervor of the Trump administration.
Before his stint as head of the FCIC, Mr. Angelides was best known for his two terms as California’s state treasurer, from 1999 to 2007. He pushed the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest public pension, to use its heft to advocate for changes on corporate boards like caps on executive pay.
After unsuccessfully challenging Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, Mr. Angelides quipped to the press, “I will by popular demand re-enter the private sector.”
He went back into real estate until he was tapped to lead the 10-member Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. From the beginning, the commission’s inquiry was plagued by political infighting. The commission held 19 days of hearings and interviewed more than 700 people, including public questioning of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
But the final report, published in January 2011, was greeted with a near-universal shrug. Its impact was further diluted by two dissents from Republican commissioners. As one headline put it, the report “landed with a thud.” The Economist described it as “big, surprisingly readable and a disappointment.”
Mr. Angelides is still defensive about the report’s reception.
“Our goal was to create a record and a history for posterity that could not easily be rewritten by ideologues or by Wall Street and its flunkies,” he said in February.
His lasting disappointment is that while several banks faced substantial fines, no one was really held accountable.
“It’s the immaculate corruption,” he said. “Banks were engaged in wrongdoing, but somehow no bankers were involved.”