The bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people – Oscar Wilde

It seems according to Reuters, that Congress is ever divided. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has failed to produce a consensus explanation of the 2007-2009 banking debacle, as it was asked to do in May 2009. Not two partisan viewpoints, nay that would be mere bickering, we will have three reports (or Thrice, if you follow Conan…).

The panel’s six Democrats, including Chairman Phil Angelides, will offer a report focused on the greed and power of Wall Street, a lack of effective regulation and the “shadow banking” system, said people familiar with the document.

Derivatives markets will come in for sharp criticism from the Democrats, along with a 1999 law that allowed bank holding companies to move into other financial businesses, and the immense influence of Wall Street on government. One person, who asked not to be identified, compared the Angelides report to the “vampire squid” view of the crisis…

Republican commission member Peter Wallison will offer his own dissenting report that largely blames the crisis on the housing policy of “big government.” This well-worn GOP view is shared by conservative foes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the troubled giants of mortgage finance.

Three other Republican commission members will offer a separate account of the crisis. People familiar with it said it will downplay the banks’ culpability and clout and stress a confluence of global trends in tracing the origins of the devastating crisis that peaked in late 2008.

“It is what it is,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Republican commission member said of the lack of a single narrative coming out of the commission’s work.

While I love debate that makes both our legislators and the people who have elected them to represent them think hard on the issues, the lack of closure in many of the current debates along what Reuters describes as familiar Washington “ideological fault lines” is worrying for the Republic in my humble opinion.

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