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Financial crisis document required reading

10/25/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

This is a hopefully useful response to Mr. [Richard] Bradner’s letter to the editor in the Oct. 18 issue of the West Side Leader (“Reader weighs in on president’s performance”).

While I applaud Mr. Bradner’s interest in civic matters and note that he has obviously been studying (I wish many more citizens would make such an effort!), some of his emotionally charged terms and conclusions lead me to suspect he has spent a bit too much time in the more extreme conservatives’ carefully constructed, and often deliberately inflammatory “Alternate Universe.” (I do not intend disrespect; I will keep a copy of his letter for reference and further research; listings of specifics are always appreciated.)

Many of Mr. Bradner’s assertions do seem disputable, but I thought that just one issue, the sources of the financial crash, would be [a] good starting point for now.

I’ve tried to widely read about the causes of the financial crisis, but finally, with dread, I looked at the official government text by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. It is actually readable! It is in sync with mainstream research, and is very thorough, so it could be read instead of a shelf full of textbooks.

If one doesn’t have time to read the several-hundred page book, the up-front “Conclusions” section is only a couple of dozen pages long, and offers as good a summary of events as can be found anywhere.

Since it was funded by tax dollars, it is available as a free downloadable PDF from the Government Printing Office, who also offers a print copy for a reasonable fee, and it is also usually in stock at our local bookstores. The PDF may be accessed directly at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-FCIC/pdf/GPO-FCIC.pdf.

Given the importance of the financial crash, I think this text should be required reading for all citizens, even if just as a starting point for further debate and research. And if anyone should refuse to examine it because “it was created by the U.S. government,” then that attitude would help diminish my hopes for the future of the USA.

Gary Herrington, Copley

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