Lipinski: Report Shows Wall Street Financial Crisis Could Have Been Avoided, Middle Class Could Have Been Spared Economic Pain

Today, following the release of the final report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) stated that he remains committed to ending the notion that some financial institutions are “too big to fail” and will continue working to ensure Wall Street does not cause another meltdown whose consequences are borne by the American middle class.

“The Commission’s report provides many fresh details on the mistakes, foolishness, greed, fraud, and willful ignorance that led to the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” Congressman Lipinski said. “But the overall story remains much the same: excessive borrowing, reckless risk-taking, a lack of transparency, regulatory and oversight failures, government missteps, and an absence of personal responsibility combined to cause the near-collapse of our economy. As the Commission states, the crisis was preventable. What would be inexcusable is if we failed to learn the lessons of this disaster and allowed Wall Street to once again put the welfare of the entire country at risk. It will take not only proper regulation but also vigilant oversight to prevent another such crisis. And having voted against the Wall Street bailout every time it came before me, I believe we must make it clear that there will not be another bailout.”

While the stock market has risen sharply along with corporate profits, the downturn continues to exact an enormous toll on the middle class, both in the Third District and across the country. Nationwide, approximately 26 million people are out of work, cannot find full-time work, or have given up looking for work. Nearly $11 trillion in household wealth has been wiped out. And small businesses continue to suffer.

“Although Commission members did not achieve complete consensus, many facts are beyond dispute,” Congressman Lipinski said. “As we continue to work to create jobs and ensure that our economy is set on a path of sustainable growth, members of both parties must set aside preconceived notions and do what is best for the American people. Just as I always have, I will continue to stand up for my constituents, to oppose special interests that pose a threat to their well-being, and to fight for common-sense policies that produce a level playing field for all Americans."

(January 28, 2011)