The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was signed into US law in May, 2009. It undertook over 700 interviews, reviewed millions of e-mails, and produced a 633-page report, rounded-off with around 1,200 supporting documents.
Here's some extracts from the report / supporting documents:
'As this report goes to print, there are 26 million Americans who are out of work...Nearly $11 trillion in household wealth has vanished....The collateral damage of this crisis has been real people and real communities. The impacts of this crisis are likely to be for a generation'.
'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'.
'The crisis was the result of human action and inaction, not of Mother Nature or computer models gone haywire. The captains of finance and the public stewards of our financial system ignored warnings and failed to question, understand and manage evolving risks within a system essential to the well-being of the American public. Theirs was a big miss, not a stumble'.
'Even Goldman Sachs, we thought there was a real chance that they would go under'.
US Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke
'When I drove home and Gary (CFO Gary Crittenden) called me and told me it wasn't going to be two or three hundred million, but it was going to be eight billion, I will never forget that call. I continued driving, and I got home, I walked in the door, I told my wife, I said here's what I just heard and if this turns out to be true, I am resigning'.
Former Citi CEO Chuck Prince
'(For Citigroup) too big too fail meant too big to manage'
'We could have survived it is my opinion but it would have been terrible. I would have stopped lending, marketing, investing....and probably laid of 20,000 people. And I would have done it in three weeks'.
JPMorgan Chase CEO & Chairman Jamie Dimon
'Even if we are willing to extend as much as $200bn of financing to LB (Lehman Brothers), absent an acquirer our action would not ensure LB's survival. That's not to imply that it would not be worth the gamble, but it would be a gamble'.
E-mail sent by former Fed Deputy Director of Research and Statistics Patrick Parkinson in July 2008
'The dangers of the new pay structures were clear, but senior executives believed they were powerless to change it. If you look at the results of what happened on Wall Street, it became 'Well, this one's doing it, so how can I not do it ?''.
Former Citi Chairman & CEO Sandy Weill
Sources - Bloomberg, Fox Business Network, The Financial Times, The New York Times