AGs to testify before financial crisis commission

Chris Rizo Jan. 11, 2010, 2:00pm

John Suthers (R-Colo.)

Lisa Madigan (D-Ill.)

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-State attorneys general John Suthers of Colorado and Lisa Madigan of Illinois are scheduled to testify this week before a congressionally-created panel about the 2008 banking crisis that nearly toppled the nation's financial industry.

Suthers, a Republican, and Madigan, a Democrat, will appear Thursday before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which was created as part of the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act of 2009.

The attorneys general, along with legal and financial experts, will discuss the U.S. government's economic recovery efforts as well as instances of fraud that contributed to the financial crisis.

Suthers and Madigan are expected to testify specifically about state enforcement efforts in response to the financial crisis.

Appearing before the 10-member panel along with the attorneys general is Texas State Securities Board Commissioner Denise Voigt Crawford and Miami-Dade Police Department Chief Counsel Glenn Theobald.

"As the regulators closest to investors, state securities regulators provide an indispensable layer of protection for Main Street investors," Crawford said in a statement. "While our presence did not contribute to the financial crisis, the erosion of our regulatory and enforcement authority was a significant factor in the severity of the financial meltdown."

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has been compared to the Pecora Commission, which investigated the causes of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Thursday marks the commission's first public hearings.

The bipartisan panel is to report back to Congress by the end of the year about what occurred during the financial collapse and make recommendations on how to avoid future market breakdowns.

The commission is led by Phil Angelides, a former California state treasurer and a 2006 Democratic candidate for governor.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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