In January, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission issued their final report, titled The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report.
While I’d not want to ruin a good cliffhanger of an ending, the web site itself puts it conclusion on the front page:
The Commission concluded that this crisis was avoidable—the result of human actions, inactions, and misjudgments. Warnings were ignored. “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done. If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”
These words are encouraging, but I suspect the lessons learned here will soon be forgotten. Do you remember the Savings and Loan Crisis? I do. I was young, but bright enough to notice CDs from Lincoln Savings and Loan were not FDIC insured, not the ones they were pushing. Weren’t we supposed to learn our lesson then? The real question is whether our collective memory can last even a full generation. Will the next generation fall prey to the claim of this time being different?
This document is available as a (free) PDF download, and runs 662 pages. It’s organized in a way that makes it manageable and even interesting to read. I’m not betting, but let’s hope it’s really lesson learned this time.