Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse   [open pdf - 6MB]

This majority and minority staff report from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs' Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations analyzes the key causes of the 2008 economic collapse. From the report: "This Report is the product of a two-year, bipartisan investigation by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into the origins of the 2008 financial crisis. The goals of this investigation were to construct a public record of the facts in order to deepen the understanding of what happened; identify some of the root causes of the crisis; and provide a factual foundation for the ongoing effort to fortify the country against the recurrence of a similar crisis in the future. Using internal documents, communications, and interviews, the Report attempts to provide the clearest picture yet of what took place inside the walls of some of the financial institutions and regulatory agencies that contributed to the crisis. The investigation found that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street. While this Report does not attempt to examine every key moment, or analyze every important cause of the crisis, it provides new, detailed, and compelling evidence of what happened. In so doing, we hope the Report leads to solutions that prevent it from happening again."

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United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: http://hsgac.senate.gov/
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Listed on April 20, 2011 [Critical Releases]