A Post-9/11-Style Review of the Financial Crisis?

Lawmakers and panelists discussed the possibility at a Capitol Hill hearing Tuesday.

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During a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, Joel Seligman, the president of the University of Rochester, brought up the idea of having Congress examine the financial crisis in the same way the terrorist attacks of September 11 were investigated.

From Seligman's prepared testimony:

I would strongly urge each house of Congress to create a Select Committee similar to that employed after September 11th to provide a focused and less contentious review of what should be done. The most difficult issues in discussing appropriate reform of our regulatory system become far more difficult when multiple Congressional committees with conflicting jurisdictions address overlapping issues. This is a time when it is important that all appropriate alternatives be considered, including consolidating regulatory agencies, creating new regulatory agencies and transferring jurisdiction. This type of review is far more likely to succeed before a single Select Committee, presumably including the chairs or appropriate representatives from the existing oversight committees.

Lawmakers seemed favorable to this approach during the hearing. And given the enormous fallout from the crisis, I'd be surprised if they don't end up doing something like this.

House of Representatives

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