News Releases

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Isakson, Conrad Praise Appointment of Members to the Financial Crisis Commission

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., today praised the appointments by Congressional leadership of 10 members to the Financial Crisis Commission that they proposed earlier this year to examine the causes of our nation's economic collapse. 

"I'm extremely pleased the members on this Commission have been chosen and I hope they immediately begin their investigation of what caused our nation's financial collapse," Isakson said. "It is imperative that we get an objective evaluation to find out what went right, what went wrong and what we must do to prevent it from happening again."

"Now that the members of the commission have been chosen, they must begin work without delay. They need to take a long hard look at how our financial system spiraled downward so far so fast. If our nation is going to learn from history, we must learn exactly what happened and why. And we must hold people accountable. If institutions and individuals broke the law, they must face the consequences," Conrad said.

Isakson and Conrad originally introduced legislation to examine the causes of the current economic crisis in January 2009. On April 22, the Senate overwhelmingly passed an amendment by Isakson and Conrad to the Senate's version of the financial fraud bill to create the Financial Crisis Commission. President Obama signed the legislation into law on May 20.

Phil Angelides was appointed as chairman of the Commission. Angelides served as the elected California State Treasurer from 1999 to 2007. Former House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas was appointed to serve as vice chairman of the Commission.   

The following individuals were also appointed to the Commission:

  • Brooksley Born, former Chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission;
  • Byron Georgiou, a businessman and attorney who serves on the advisory board of the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance;
  • Former Senator Bob Graham, who served as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and was a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee;
  • Keith Hennessey, former National Economic Council Director;
  • Doug Holtz-Eakin, former Congressional Budget Office Director;
  • Heather Murren, a retired Managing Director for Global Securities Research and Economics at Merrill Lynch;
  • John W. Thompson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Symantec Corporation; and
  • Peter Wallison, Co-Director for Financial Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

The 10-member, bipartisan Financial Crisis Commission is modeled after the 9-11 Commission, which thoroughly and independently investigated the failures leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and made sound recommendations on where we needed to improve to prevent another attack in the future.

Likewise, the Financial Crisis Commission has until December 2010 to investigate all the circumstances that led to this financial crisis. The panel has the authority to refer to the U.S. Attorney General and state attorneys general any evidence that institutions or individuals may have violated existing laws. At the end of its investigation, the Commission will report its findings and conclusions to the Congress and the President.