Phil Angelides leads 10-member panel to probe into economic crisis

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Former California treasurer, Phil Angelides has been appointed as the chairman of the 10-member Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which is appointed to investigate the causes of the recent financial downturn.

The commission with subpoena power is supposed to be modeled on the Pecora Commission, which investigated the events that led to the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression.

Bill Thomas, a retired California Republican congressman who led the powerful Ways and Means Committee will be the wise-chairman of the panel.

Bob Graham, a former Democratic senator from Florida, and Brooksley Born, former chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission are also on the board.

John W. Thompson, board chairman of security software Symantec Corp., Heather Murren, a retired Merrill Lynch director and Byron Georgiou, a Las Vegas attorney are the names suggested by Democrats.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin of DHE Consulting, Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute and Keith Hennessey, an economic adviser to former President George W. Bush are appointed by the Republicans.

In particular, the commission will poke its nose into issues such as the role of exotic financial instruments and credit rating agencies, compensation, and why the regulators failed to handle risky lending at banks.

The commission's final report will be due in December 2010.

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