U.S. Chamber Attacks FCIC as "Job-Killing" Wikileakers

In a response to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission releasing its final report on the financial crisis today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pitched a classic hissy fit calling the report an "abuse of the process" that would create "more job-killing lawsuits." (So much for the new tone in Washington.)

FCIC the New Wikileaks?

The Chamber quickly goes to the heart of the matter:

"The commission's final report and its pledge to post raw materials -– apparently including information obtained from companies as well as other government agencies –- is an astounding abuse of process that would effectively create a government-sanctioned Wikileaks," said Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform.

This is what the Chamber fears most of all, the FCIC's planned release of those reckless, imprudent and downright ugly emails from the masters of the universe crowing about how well they do their jobs -- fleecing America.

A stack of these emails were just released by Atlantic Monthly in a stellar report on the information uncovered by a lawsuit against Bear Stearns. Information revealed in the lawsuit suggests that Bear executives cheated clients out of billions by double dipping on securities sales they knew to be flawed. The lawsuit also alleges continued accounting fraud by JP Morgan Chase (which bought Bear in 2008) in an effort to cover-up the problem. In just one example of those embarrassing emails, Bear Sterns top executives crow over selling investors a "sack of shit."

Bear Stearns deal manager Nicolas Smith wrote an e-mail on August 11th, 2006 to Keith Lind, a Bear Stearns Managing Director on the trading desk, referring to a particular bond, SACO 2006-8, as "SACK OF SHIT [2006-]8" and said, "I hope your [sic] making a lot of money off this trade."

The Real Job Killers

The U.S. Chamber is in panic mode for two reasons. One, the FCIC report details in its 576-page report who the real job killers are: reckless Wall Street financial firms and negligent government officials who took a series of specific actions that resulted in 30 million unemployed and underemployed Americans who are still barely scraping by.

They are also panicked because the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law is kicking in to high gear. Federal banking agencies are issuing new rules under the act that will clamp down on some of the reckless behavior in the big banks, mortgage services and other financial firms. Unbelievably, the Chamber is fighting hard to protect the lucrative shadow banking industry from being dragged into the sunlight, rigorously protesting the new transparency, capital and margin requirements for all over the counter derivatives traders.

This week the Chamber released an amusing art work, placing the array of Dodd Frank rules into a graphic chart full of polka dots. Our friends at U.S. Chamber Watch noted: "Although the Chamber has unveiled this pointless pointillist masterpiece, (probably being secretly funded by the big banks that, left unregulated, led to the recession in the first place), it still has yet to release a substantive plan for jobs or avoiding future financial meltdowns."

Buy the FCIC report today on the web or at your local bookstore, and call the U.S. Chamber of Commerce toll-free and tell them what you think of their foray into modern art. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Customer Service: 1-800-638-6582.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is a reporter for the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). She helped launch CMD's award-winning ALEC Exposed investigation and is a two-time recipient of the Sidney Prize for public interest journalism from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.