The Spectacle Blog

Angelides’ Inquiring Mind

By on 7.1.11 | 2:26PM

On Wednesday, Phil Angelides, the Democratic chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, wrote a piece in the Washington Post excoriating Republicans for refusing to "acknowledge what went wrong" in the financial sector and dismissing the evidence that Fannie and Freddie contributed to the crisis. He characterized the evidence that Peter Wallison featured in his FCIC report dissent as "shopworn data, produced by a consultant to the corporate-funded American Enterprise Institute, which was analyzed and debunked by the FCIC report." 

Wallison defended himself against Angelides's attack in a blog post, but didn't address Angelides's only criticism, which was that AEI is corporate-funded and therefore its input isn't worth hearing. 

Investor's Business Daily did field this complaint, and suggested that Angelides is the last person who should be making it: 

In fact, Angelides ran a dirty investigation. He fixed it so trial lawyers who donated more than $225,000 to his political campaigns in California could leverage banks for class-action settlements for union pension funds that invested in bad subprime securities.

As IBD first reported, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd - the country's dominant plaintiffs law firm for class-action securities lawsuits - ran the crisis inquiry through chief investigator Chris Seefer (a Robbins Geller partner) and FCIC commissioner Byron Georgiou (a Robbins Geller counselor).

Last September, months before the FCIC had closed its "investigation," Georgiou and Angelides spoke at a conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., hosted by Robbins Geller. Congressional investigators are probing whether the two violated ethics rules when they talked about their ongoing commission work.

Talk about unfair advantage: The commission essentially provided a massive discovery operation and service for trial lawyers at public expense.

...

As we also recently revealed, Angelides has been a partner in an offshore hedge fund - Canyon Value Realization Fund (Cayman), Ltd. - that shorted more than $1 billion in subprime mortgage securities before the crisis.

All this explains the commission's anti-bank agenda, and why it went gunning for banks from the opening gavel. That agenda included using government subpoenas - not to mention $10 million in taxpayer funding - to dig up dirt on banks - including documents and testimony that trial lawyers are now citing in their class-action lawsuits to strengthen their cases against those very same banks.

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