Things don’t seem to be going well. The individuals questioned by the commission mostly seem to be diverting blame for the whole fiasco to someone else. Nobody is offering any tangible insights into the causes of the financial crisis.
Predictably, the commission will avoid calling any witnesses who might unequivocally indict the federal government for its role in the crisis, or suggest solutions which take away government power. Government commissions have a remarkable tendency to recommend granting even more power to the same useless government agencies that so utterly fail to prevent crises in the first place. We saw this with the Pecora Commission, we saw it after 9-11, and we’re seeing it again today with regard to financial regulations. For example, this latest commission almost certainly will suggest granting more power to the SEC, when in fact the SEC should be abolished as an embarrassing farce. Rest assured that this recommendation will be made without apology or sense of irony.
The reality is that the Federal Reserve relentlessly expanded the money supply through artificially low interest rates for over two decades, and this expansion of easy money caused a wholly predictable bubble. To a myopic Keynesian regulator, the bubble may appear to be caused by greed, but in truth it is completely predictable that humans will act in their own perceived self interest. If the Fed wants to dole out artificially cheap money, people and businesses- including Wall Street businesses- will line up to take it. We can condemn this as greed, but the fundamental problem is Fed policy itself. There will always be demand for cheap money, but we should not allow the Fed to debase our currency and create bubbles of false prosperity to satisfy that demand.
What the commission really needs are experts who understand free market economics rather than big government Keynesian fantasies. The commission has none of these, and has called no true free market witnesses. That perspective would only distract from their predetermined goals.